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Preview: Canucks at Sharks

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks can earn themselves a trip to the second round Tuesday as they look to complete a sweep of their Western Conference first-round series when they host the Northwest Division champion Vancouver Canucks. San Jose, which never has swept a playoff series, walked into Rogers Arena and scored twice in the third period to post a 3-1 victory in Game 1 and steal home-ice advantage from third-seeded Vancouver. The Sharks pulled out a 3-2 win in Game 2 as Patrick Marleau tied the contest with 56 seconds remaining in the third session and former Canuck Raffi Torres tallied at 5:31 of overtime.

Vancouver switched goaltenders for Game 3, going from Roberto Luongo to Cory Schneider with the hope of turning the series around. The move backfired early in the third period as San Jose scored three goals in a 2:27 span to turn a close game into a rout. Schneider, who was returning from an undisclosed injury that sidelined him for four contests, was pulled after allowing five goals on 28 shots.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE CANUCKS: Coach Alain Vigneault has a tough decision on his hands regarding his starting goaltender for Game 4. During his postgame press conference, Vigneault admitted that Luongo was not the reason the Canucks lost the first two games. Considering Schneider struggled in his return while Luongo stopped all 10 shots he faced in relief, the latter could be back between the pipes Tuesday. Daniel Sedin recorded his 66th career postseason point with an assist on Sunday, tying him with Pavel Bure for third place on the franchise list. The Canucks found themselves short-handed eight times and paid the price as San Jose scored three power-play goals. "I don't know what happened except that we spent way too much time in the penalty box," captain Henrik Sedin said. "We have to stay calm. It's really just a few small things that are costing us, like taking the extra penalty."

ABOUT THE SHARKS: Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski were the offensive stars on Sunday, combining for four goals and three assists. Couture, who scored twice and set up two tallies, became the fourth player in franchise history to register four points in a playoff game. He joined Sergei Makarov (1994), Mike Ricci (1999) and Jeremy Roenick (2008). Couture also is the fourth Shark to score two power-play goals in a postseason game and the first to record two in the same period. Marleau also scored Sunday, giving him a goal in each game of the series. Couture and Marleau tallied nine seconds apart, falling one second shy of the record for the fastest two goals in franchise playoff history. John MacLean and Ron Sutter scored eight seconds apart against the Dallas Stars in 1998.

OVERTIME

1. Including the regular season, San Jose is 6-0-0 against Vancouver in 2013.

2. Vancouver C Ryan Kesler won 13-of-24 faceoffs in Game 3. The rest of the Canucks combined to win 17-of-47 draws.

3. Sharks D Marc-Edouard Vlasic will play in his 72nd career postseason game Tuesday, giving him sole possession of first place on the franchise list among blue-liners. He tied Mike Rathje for the top spot on Sunday.

PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Canucks 2

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130508/preview-canucks-at-sharks