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Sharks 5, Canucks 2: Logan Couture scored two goals and set up two others while Joe Pavelski added a pair of tallies and an assist as host San Jose pushed Northwest Division champion Vancouver to the brink of elimination in their Western Conference first-round series.
Patrick Marleau recorded a goal, captain Joe Thornton notched two assists and Antti Niemi made 28 saves for the sixth-seeded Sharks, who can become the first team to advance to the second round when they host Game 4 on Tuesday.
Alex Burrows and defenseman Dan Hamhuis scored for the third-seeded Canucks, who are in danger of being bounced in the first round by a lower seed for the second straight year. Cory Schneider returned from an injury but was pulled after allowing five goals on 28 shots.
Pavelski got things started for San Jose with 5:52 remaining in the first period as he chipped Couture's pass over Schneider during a 5-on-3 power play. Pavelski doubled the lead at 7:20 of the second, when he deflected Tommy Wingels' shot from along the right-wing boards past Schneider.
Burrows halved the deficit later in the middle session, but Couture beat Schneider to the glove side with a shot from near the left-wing boards during a man advantage at 1:40 of the third to restore the two-goal lead. The crowd was still celebrating when Marleau fired the puck between Schneider's pads while being knocked to the ice nine seconds later to make it 4-1.
Couture and Marleau came within one second of matching the franchise record for the fastest two playoff goals. John MacLean and Ron Sutter tallied eight seconds apart for San Jose in a game against Dallas during the 1998 postseason.
Couture capped his two-goal performance and ended Schneider's night with a shot from the left faceoff circle during another power play at 4:07, giving the Sharks three tallies in a 2:27 span.
GAME NOTEBOOK: G Roberto Luongo replaced Schneider early in the third period and stopped all 10 shots he faced. ... San Jose C Scott Gomez was back in the lineup after missing the final two regular-season games and the first two of the playoffs with an undisclosed injury. ... Vancouver has gone 2-11 in the postseason since taking a 2-0 lead over the Boston Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. The Canucks were eliminated in five games by Los Angeles during the first round of the 2012 playoffs. ... Couture set a franchise playoff record by scoring two power-play goals in the same period.