May 13, 2011
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Although the Canucks and Sharks finished 1-2 in the Western Conference standings, Vancouver managed to go undefeated in regulation against San Jose in the four-game season series. The teams also played one of the more memorable regular season games of the year when they last met on March 10 at HP Pavilion.
A quick look at the numbers shows that the Sedin twins, Daniel (6 points) and Henrik (5 points), led the Canucks in scoring against the Sharks. Dany Heatley tallied a goal and three assists for San Jose, while Ryane Clowe was the only Shark to score more than once against Vancouver over the four games (3g).
Antti Niemi played every minute of every game against the Canucks, a team in which he helped eliminate from the playoffs last season in the second round when he was with Chicago. Niemis 3.64 goals-against average and .896 save percentage are nothing to write home about, but much of the damage came during a 6-1 blowout by Vancouver the day after Thanksgiving.
Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider each started twice against San Jose, and Luongo allowed just two goals in 125 minutes of play for a stellar 0.96 GAA against San Jose.
Heres a brief, game-by-game look at what transpired during the year between the Western Conference Finalists.
November 26, 2010
Canucks 6, Sharks 1
In their first meeting of the season, Vancouver scored five unanswered goals in cruising to a 6-1 win over the Sharks at Rogers Arena. Mikael Sanuelsson led the way with two goals, while Luongo stopped 32 shots. At the time, it was just the Canucks third win over San Jose in their previous 13 meetings. It was also the most goals the Canucks had scored against the Sharks in almost 10 years.
REWIND: Niemi battered, Sharks routed by Canucks
Heatley scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who dropped their fourth out of five games. Niemi allowed all six Canucks goals on 32 shots faced, while Luongo stopped 32 of 33 San Jose shots.
January 3, 2011
Canucks 4, Sharks 3
In a much more evenly played game than the first meeting, Alex Burrows scored the tie-breaking goal in the third period of a see-saw affair to give the Canucks the 4-3 win at HP Pavilion. It was Vancouvers first win in San Jose since April 7, 2007.
Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler and Jannik Hansen also scored for the Canucks, who won for the 15th time in 18 games. Clowe, Patrick Marleau and Jamal Mayers were the goal scorers for the Sharks. Mayers gave San Jose a 3-2 lead with just 4:39 left in regulation, but Hansen tied it up with 1:25 remaining.
REWIND: Sharks can't slow down Canucks, fall 4-3
Schneider was the winning goalie for the Canucks make 32 saves, while Niemi stopped 43.
January 20, 2011
Sharks 2, Canucks 1 (SO)
The Sharks lone win in the season series came courtesy of Joe Pavelskis goal in the shootout at Rogers Arena. The Canucks got the early lead thanks to a goal by Henrik Sedin, before Logan Couture tied it during a second period in which the Sharks outshot the Canucks, 25-9. That was all of the scoring in regulation, though, while Pavelski was the only player able to convert in the shootout.
The Sharks were a bit fortunate to get out of overtime alive, as Dan Boyle took a bad penalty in the extra session when he punched Ryan Kesler and was sent to the box on a roughing call.
REWIND: Sharks win hard-fought battle with Canucks in SO
The win was San Joses fourth in the row, and came while they were in the midst of a 9-0-1 run. Niemi picked up the victory with 36 saves, while Luongo took the hard-luck loss after making 45 saves.
March 10, 2011
Canucks 5, Sharks 4 (SO)
In one of the most entertaining games of the regular season, the Sharks and Canucks played a game befitting the top two teams in the Western Conference when they last met.
The Canucks led 3-2 after two periods, but the Sharks Torrey Mitchell tied the game with his goal at 17:47 of the third. Daniel Sedin responded for Vancouver when his goal just 24 seconds later gave the Canucks their lead back. No matter, as Clowe capped a wild final few minutes of regulation with a tip-in of a Joe Thornton shot to send it to overtime.
REWIND: Instant classic -- Canucks top Sharks in shootout
Once again, though, the game would have to be decided by a shootout. Burrows was the only player able to convert on his opportunity, giving the Canucks the extra point in the standings. Niemi was the goalie of record once again for the Sharks, while Schneider picked up in the win in net for Vancouver.