Joe Pavelski made a huge diving pass to Devin Setoguchi, who tapped it in to beat Roberto Luongo and give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 lead over the Vancouver Canucks ... a lead that they'd almost hold until the end. But then, with 13.2 seconds on the clock and an empty net going, the Canucks get extended time passing, and a Ryan Kesler re-directs a shot from the point into the net, tying the game and sending it into overtime. When overtime came, the Sharks dominated most of the period, like they did for the entirety of the game, but it ended up going into double overtime.
And then .. something happened that not everybody understood at first. The puck was trickling slowly across the ice, and Kevin Bieksa shot it from the point and it slowly beat Antti Niemi on his left side. Everybody was confused, but it was indeed a good goal. The Canucks got that goal, the game-winner, and the series winner.
It was a game that was mostly dominated by the Sharks. They outshot the Canucks 56 to 34 ... and they still didn't get the win. But they never gave up, they kept fighting, and this series, despite being 4-1, will do a lot for the Sharks and their choker label. The Vancouver Canucks advance to the Stanley Cup Finals representing the Western Conference.
For now, here are the notes I took during the game, with a full, more expanded recap with all kinds of thoughts coming shortly, followed by season recaps and more as we look to next season. Stay tuned, full recap coming in the morning. These notes are unedited.
The Canucks get scoring opportunities in the very first thirty seconds, with two shots on goal, but Antti Niemi makes the save. San Jose takes the puck away into Vancouver's zone, and they get a scoring opportunity of their own, where Roberto Luongo fell down flat, the puck somewhere under him. Both teams are looking good early on, through the first five minutes, neither unit really has the edge, maybe the Sharks get the nod in that vein. The Sharks do have a couple bad giveaways though, during potential scoring opportunities. In fact, one of those giveaways goes back the other way, and the Canucks get a goal. Alexandre Burrows gets a dish from Sedin and beats an out-of-position Niemi to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead. The Sharks were very passive in the neutral zone and let the Canucks set it up. The Sharks come back and get extended time in Vancouver's zone, Kyle Wellwood controlling the puck well and setting up a couple scoring opportunities. The Sharks get it back in the Vancouver zone again and keep the pressure on, but the Canucks are playing solid defense. At 14:03, Henrik Sedin goes to the box for hooking on Ian White. Then, Ryan Kesler goes to the box for slashing and the Sharks have a 5-on-3. They play it very well, allowing minimal clears and show good passing, but Luongo makes a couple otherworldly saves and the 5-on-3 and then the man advantage is killed by, seemingly, Luongo on his own. The Sharks keep the puck in Vancouver's zone and get some more chances, the Canucks get a chance or two and Niemi makes a big save and ... the period comes to an end. The Sharks looked like
The Sharks get a couple opportunities, and then the Canucks, It's very balanced play, with the Sharks holding the edge in time on the forecheck with more shots, and eventually, Kevin Bieksa goes to the box for hi-sticking on Logan Couture, and the Sharks begin a power play. Devin Setoguchi makes a bad play and the Canucks get a clear ... then they clear it two more times upon entry into the zone. Then, Dan Boyle shoots from the point and ... beats Luongo, and just like that, the Sharks tie it up. Looks like Marleau deflects it in. Torrey Mithcell then gos to the box for tripping and the Canucks have their first power play. They get some early chances, but the Sharks get a couple clears. And eventually, the penalty is killed, though the Canucks had a ton of time in SAn Jose's zone, but Niemi and his blockers came up big. Then, the Canucks are called for a too many men on the ice penalty ,and the Sharks have a power play, but it doesn't go anywhere. They have one good opportunity, but Kyle Wellwood continues his trend of being afraid to shoot, and the penalty is killed. The play is balanced, but the Canucks hold the edge as the period comes to a close, with Vancouver putting the pressure on and Todd McLellan calling a timeout to rest his team. The period ends.
At the beginning of the period, the Sharks jump ahead 2-1 when Roberto Luongo goes out to challenge Joe Pavelski. Pavelski is trailing the puck and it looks like it's going to get to Luongo first, but Pavelski dives and tips it to the right, where Setoguchi has an open net to tap it in beautifully. The Canucks respond with many, many opportunities, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic takes a horrific high stick and has to go to the locker room, but no penalty is called. It was a follow-through, so the no-call makes sense here, but Vlasic seems hurt. The Canucks continue to press hard. Wouldn't you know it, Vlasic comes back out onto the ice without even missing a shift. The Sharks actually get some more offense, playing aggressive, though the Canucks eventually move back into the San Jose zone, and get a couple scary shots off. It goes back and forth, with Vancouver getting a few good one-timers, but the Sharks playing well. The Sharks continue to clear it well, but with 15 seconds on the clock, the Canucks get three-to-four passes and set up a good scoring chance, the Canucks get a shot from the point and redirection in front of the net by Ryan Kesler ... and it's a good goal with 13.2 seconds remaining. The period comes to an end and we've got overtime.
The Canucks turn it on right away, keeping the puck in San Jose's zone for most of the first minute, getting a couple shooting opportunities. The Sharks eventually get a shot or two, but the Canucks are generally quick to get the puck back and send it into San Jose's zone. Now it looks like San Jose has taken control of the play, getting shots, Patrick Marleau is playing well especially. Luongo is forced to make an amazing glove save at one point. The Sharks keep the puck in the zone, pass it around, and Luongo has to make a diving save. The Canucks get a couple of opportunities now, and the Sharks are on their heels. The Canucks are setting up plenty of good one-timers. Daniel Sedin gets a one-on-one with Niemi, but Niemi makes the pad save. The play is going back and forth with big chances on either side. They fight for it behind Vancouver's net, and then they fight for it behind San Jose's net. It's just back and forth, that's really all that can be said right now, no team is getting solid solo shots on goal. Ian White makes a good defensive play in front of the goal, not quite covering but getting all of his limbs in the way of the puck when it changed direction on Niemi. And then, the overtime period comes to an end, we're going to a second overtime.
No solid scoring opportunities through the first two minutes, the Sharks finally get one halfway through the third minute. The puck is spending a lot of time in the neutral zone. The Sharks get some opportunities, Logan Couture almost beats Luongo with a wrister, but Luongo barely makes the save and gets an early whistle. The Sharks get a huge opportunity, but the blocked shot goes back the other way for a breakaway, but Niemi makes a huge save. The Canucks get three shots in a row when the Sharks make three different mistakes, but Niemi stops them all. The momentum has shifted, whereas the Sharks were getting most of the chances, the Canucks start to get extended time in San Jose's zone, and then ... I'm not sure what happened. It looks like the puck was out of play, but then it comes back in and trickles into the net... or maybe it's a clean shot. Replays make it look like a clean shot. Kevin Bieksa shot it from the blueline and nobody saw it coming.