The Vancouver Canucks closed out the San Jose Sharks Wednesday the same way last year’s Western Conference Final came to a close as another point shot from Kevin Bieksa snuck past Anti Niemi in the 3-2 victory.
Andrew Ebbett’s tip-in sealed the victory for Vancouver in a spirited affair that saw San Jose grow stronger as game moved forward.
Joe Thornton and the Sharks were unable to complete the comeback and finish off the Canucks after the captain tied the game late in the second period.
The Hat Trick
Joe Thornton and Henrik Sedin both lead their teams with a point apiece on Wednesday, and came finger to face during an interesting exchange following a scrum in the final five minutes.
Thornton’s finger in face of Sedin was one of many examples of the animosity between the two teams that eventually boiled over late in the third period.
After Thornton and Ryan Kesler made acquaintances to begin last year’s Western Conference Final will the Sedins take on the task of beefing with Jumbo Joe?
Luongo Big Late
After Luongo and the Canucks let a two-goal lead disappear late in the second period, Vancouver’s backstop shut the door as the Sharks circled during the final frame in San Jose.
Luongo stopped all 16 shots fired his way in the third, finishing out the game with 33 saves.
Andrew Ebbett continues to enjoy a strong return to the lineup after missing over a month due to a foot injury suffered in early November. Ebbett now has four goals in his last five games and is finding ways to contribute in both ends of the rink for the Canucks.
While the Canucks have a significant amount of scoring depth in front of Ebbett, it is nice to see the winger chipping in to Vancouver’s secondary scoring.
The sudden-death point shot ended the night for San Jose, keeping the home team from completing the comeback and further delaying revenge for last year’s lucky series-clinching goal.
Vancouver and San Jose meet again in just over three weeks time on Saturday, January 21st. Like the Sharks, I’m circling that particular contest on the calendar.
Quote Of The Night
“When things are going right, they are going right,” Build on the momentum. I’m just happy being back with the team playing again.” – Andrew Ebbett
1st. Roberto Luongo – SAVE PCTG: 0.943
2nd. Andrew Ebbett - GOALS: 1 | PTS: 1 | ASST: 0 SOG: 2| PLUS/MINUS: 1
3rd. Patrick Marleau - GOALS: 0 | PTS: 1 | ASST: 1 SOG: 2 | PLUS/MINUS: -1
BOXSCORE | Q’s POST GAME RECAP
Vancouver 3, San Jose 2
When: 10:30 PM ET, Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Where: HP Pavillion at San Jose, San Jose, California
Referees: Brad Watson, Gord Dwyer
Linesmen: Don Henderson, Mark Wheler