Kevin Bieksa with the OT winner last night that moves the Canucks into the finals... and you know how they say, "I just hope it's a good goals that ends it"... well this wasn't one of those as the puck took a strange bounce and was in the net before the Sharks even knew where it was. Fitting that it was Bieksa that catches the break as he had a strong series with 4+1=5, plus-5 & 15 PIMs.
Have to give Roberto Luongo credit for keeping his team in it as they were outshot 56-34. He came through in this series with a 2.39 gaa & .931 sv% despite facing a lot of rubber.
At the other end, Antti Niemi wasn't so stellar as he gave up at least three goals in each game of the series and finished with a 3.70 gaa & .869 in five games.
At the end of the day it was the Sedin's that killed the Sharks as Henrik finished with 1+11=12 and Daniel with 2+4=6 in the five game series. They needed to stop them or at least contain them and they could no neither.
Ryan Kesler was banged up in the 2nd period, looked like a groin injury, but he battled-on and tipped-in the tying goal with 14 seconds left. We'll see if this injury is still bothering him when the final begins.
Round of applause for Joe Thornton who played 32 minutes last night, led the team in shots with seven and it was revealed after the game that he was playing with a separated shoulder... but everyone will just keep saying that "he doesn't want it bad enough".
Patrick Marleau stepped up in the 3rd round with 5+2=7 in the five games but the Sharks needed more from guys like Heatley, Clowe & Pavelski.
Guy Boucher announced yesterday that he's going back to Dwayne Roloson for game #6... smart move there as the veteran has been huge in elimination games in the past including three straight wins in the 1st round against Pittsburgh.
Not much of an update on Sean Bergenheim's LBI, just that he was still hurting yesterday and he's considered doubtful for tonight's game #6.
At the Memorial Cup... Saint John didn't have anything to play for as they already wrapped up a bye to the final and it showed last night as they were outshot 45-23 and lost to Kootenay in OT. Tomas Jurco with two more goals for the Sea Dogs, including a late header to tie it up, and Flames prospect Max Reinhart with 4A for the Ice.
Houston got two goals from Casey Wellman, 24 saves from Matt Hackett and a goal late in the 3rd to beat Hamilton 4-3 in game #7 of the AHL semi. They'll move on to take on a well rested Binghamton Senators squad starting on Friday.
Blake Kessel, a 2007 6th round pick of the Islanders and Phil Kessel's little bro, is leaving UNH after three years and since it doesn't seem like the Islanders are eager to sign him, he'll become a FA on June 1st. He's put up decent numbers from the blueline for UNH (5+22=27 in 39 games this season) so I'd bet a team takes a flier on him.
Vladimir Tarasenko has informed the Blues that he's going to remain in the KHL for one more season. Not really a surprise and given that the kid is only 19, there's no need for St.Louis to rush him... except to appease all the fantasy GMs who own this guy and are looking for immediate returns.