19 May 2011 by 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffsin
Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks
The Vancouver Canucks put a punishing 7-3 loss on their west rivals, the San Jose Sharks, to build a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series. Game 3 will take place Friday night in San Jose.
Ranking first in the NHL in goals scored, goals allowed and power play efficiency, the Canucks were a heavy favorite at home and may be favored on Friday. The Canucks rank 3rd in the league in penalties killed.
Vancouver has plenty of speed and enough savvy to go all the way this year. The Canucks finished the season as the top team in the Northwest Division with a 54-19 won-lost record. Thursday’s game was fairly even until the third period when the Canucks unleashed the dogs and scored four goals to put that game to bed.
Goalie Roberto Luongo leads the Canucks with a 2.11 goals against average. Left wing Daniel Sedin led the team in goals scored with 41. Brother Henrik Sedin leads the team with 75 assists. The Canucks are solid at both ends of the ice and have enough muscle to keep good flow in the game.
The San Jose Sharks face an uphill battle to get back in the series. Game three on Friday is a must win for the Sharks. Statistically, the Canucks have a decided edge. The Sharks rank 6th in scoring, 10th in goals against and 2nd in power play scoring. The team is a woeful 25th in penalty killing. That is the number that may sink the Sharks.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins
The resilient Tama Bay Lightning went 1-1 in Boston but that may be all the Lightning need. They are tough at home and tough when up against the wall. The Bruins and Lightning will face off in Tampa at 8:00PM ET tonight.
The Lightning are 7th in scoring, 21st in goals against, 6th in power play efficiency and 8th in penalty killing. Their unusual commitment to defense has proved frustrating for opponents in the playoffs. Tampa employs a 1-3-1 defense that has stifled opposition for the past month.
The Lightning has good talent with Martin St. Louis, Steve Stamkos and Vinny LeCavalier. Tampa Bay is the most penalized of the four teams still playing.
The Bruins are 5th in scoring, 2nd in goals allowed, 20th in power play efficiency and 16th in penalty killing. Goaltender Tim Thomas is the heart and soul of the Bruins. Thomas yields just 2.0 goals per game.
The best move the Bruins made was adding Tyler Sequin. The teenager had scored six points in his first two playoff games and brings a new degree of speed to a slow Boston team. Not only is Sequin speedy but he is also creating matchup problems for Tampa.
The key to this series may well be the play of late season acquisition Dwayne Roloson. Although allowing five goals in nine shots in period two of game two, Roloson has been spectacular since joining the Lightning. Tonight’s game will tell a lot about the outcome of this series.