Defenseman Dan Boyle scored a tie-breaking goal at 9:17 of the third period to enable the Sharks to post a 3-1 comeback win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night.
The first team in this Stanley Cup playoff season to win on the road, San Jose grabbed Game 1 against a Vancouver team that eliminated them from the West finals two years ago.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is set for Vancouver on Friday night.
Boyle had crept down from his spot on the blue line and was unmarked to the right of the slot just 12 feet from the goal. Tommy Wingels won a puck battle behind the net to feed Joe Pavelski, who put a long backhand shot on goal that Wingels kept alive while battling Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. Boyle slammed home for the go-ahead goal to make it 2-1.
Patrick Marleau scored at 14:37 of the third to make it 3-1, his 53rd career playoff goal, to give the Sharks insurance late.
Each team scored a second-period goal to remain tied 1-1 after a hard-hitting, tight-checking opening 40 minutes.
Vancouver struck first 12:26 into the middle period at even strength on a goal-mouth scramble that was initially credited to right wing Jannik Hansen but later changed to defenseman Kevin Bieksa. San Jose goalie Antti Niemi stopped an initial shot by Bieksa, but couldn’t cover the rebound.
The Sharks got even on the power play as Logan Couture beat Luongo at 16:34 with a wrist shot just left of the slot.
Couture drew the minor, a roughing call on Vancouver forward Zack Kassian at 16:00. Boyle supplied a pass from the bottom of the right circle to pick up the primary assist on Couture’s 13th career playoff goal.
San Jose had two first-period power plays, including a two-minute advantage just 2:36 after the opening faceoff that produced seven shots but no goals. The Canucks failed to convert on two second-period power plays, totaling three shots in four minutes.
The Sharks held a 15-9 advantage in shots in the first period while the Canucks dominated the second period in shots, 14-6.