VANCOUVER — The San Jose Sharks broke a 1-1 tie with 10:43 left in the third period when veteran defenseman Dan Boyle pounced on a loose puck that Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo couldn’t corral. All Boyle had to do was snap it into a wide-open net and it was 2-1 for the visitors.
Then, around five minutes later, Patrick Marleau sent many of the fans for the exits with San Jose’s third goal.
The Sharks would hold on for a 3-1 victory and take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Vancouver opened the game’s scoring with an ugly one. With 7:34 remaining in the second, Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was credited with the tally after a loose puck found its way under and past Antti Niemi following a wild scramble in the crease.
But Canucks forward Zack Kassian took an undisciplined roughing penalty with four minutes left in the second. The big 22-year-old — who was a physical presence all night — got his arms up too high as he hit Logan Couture along the boards. Only 35 seconds later, Couture scored with the man advantage to tie the game, 1-1.
Luongo was brilliant in the first period, making a number of big stops, the best coming off Martin Havlat.
The Canucks are now 2-9 in their last 11 playoff games, dating back to the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. They’ve also lost five straight playoff games at Rogers Arena.
Game 2 goes Friday in Vancouver. Will it be Luongo again? Or, will Cory Schneider be ready to step in?