The San Jose Sharks held the lead for most of Game 2 against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday. Then Ryan Kesler stepped up in the third period to give the Canucks a 2-1 edge.
With less than a minute left in the contest, it looked like that would be sufficient, but Patrick Marleau found the back of the net with 56 seconds to spare. Raffi Torres scored in overtime to give the sixth seed Sharks a 2-0 series lead.
That kind of clutch performance is in defiance of the Sharks’ history of falling short in the playoffs, but perhaps their past misses are part of what made this comeback possible.
“We’re a bunch of veterans,” Sharks’ captain Joe Thornton told NHL.com. “All of us have played in so many playoff games, the calmness is scary sometimes.”
Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle’s attempted pass near the midway point of the third period led to Kesler’s second goal, but Boyle shrugged that off and helped set up Marleau’s game-tying goal.
“We showed a lot of character and a lot of guts to come back,” Boyle said in a CSN Bay Area report. “A win is a win. It wasn’t pretty, and we were obviously on our heels after we had the one goal lead a little bit too much, but a win is a win.”
San Jose had a 17-2-5 record in the HP Pavilion this season. With the series heading there, Vancouver will have a very tough time turning things around.