Programming note: Sharks-Canucks Game 4 coverage kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California
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SAN JOSE – Cory Schneider will return to the net for the Canucks for Tuesday's Game 4, and has already moved on from allowing five goals on Sunday night in his first appearance of this year’s postseason.
“Cory, in my opinion, is our MVP. He’s one of the reasons why we got into the playoffs,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s had great bounce-back games, and he’s been outstanding this year. I think our group has total faith in both goaltenders, but they’ve got a lot of faith in Cory and I’ve got a lot of faith in him.”
Schneider said: “It’s a big opportunity. It’s exciting being in those games, and they are fun ones to play in, so I’m really looking forward to getting back in there.”
Roberto Luongo started the first two games, posting a 2.58 goals-against average and .915 save percentage while Schneider recovered from an undisclosed injury.
The 27-year-old Massachusetts native said he’s already put his Game 3 performance behind him. Schneider allowed some stoppable shots to get past him, particularly early in the third period, when San Jose put the game away with three goals in less than three minutes to open up a four-goal lead. The Sharks won, 5-2.
“It’s only an afterthought, and I haven’t really thought about it much since,” Schneider said. “New day, new game, totally different circumstances, so yeah, I feel fine.”
Vigneault said: “I think Cory, the whole team and myself have moved on past that. We’re focused on tonight, and how we need to execute on the ice against a team that’s playing extremely well right now. We believe we can win one game.”
One part of their game the Canucks should be able to clean up is taking too many penalties. The Sharks have nearly 17 more minutes of power play time than Vancouver through three games, and have scored four power play goals to the Canucks’ one.
San Jose was 3-for-8 in Game 3, while the Canucks were 0-for-2.
“We’re taking way too many penalties,” Henrik Sedin said.
“But, it’s not only giving them power plays. It’s giving their best guys momentum, confidence, making plays, giving them time and space. They’ve got to feel good about their game. It makes it tougher to play them five-on-five, too. There are a lot of different things that come with taking penalties.”
The Canucks are hopeful that Game 2 was not their last appearance at Rogers Arena. Game 5, if necessary, would be back in British Columbia on Thursday.
“We have to start here and get this one,” Schneider said. “It’s not going to easy and they’re going to be coming hard to try and close this out early I’m sure, but I think there’s still a lot of fight left in us.”