By Daniel Fung
The Vancouver Canucks (trail series 0-3) will look to avoid being swept for the fourth time in franchise history when they face the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 at the HP Pavilion at San Jose.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The Canucks got one step closer towards packing it up for the season on Sunday dropping a 5-2 decision in Game 3 to put them on the brink of elimination. A win tonight would mean the Canucks have a chance to host at least one more game in front of their fans on Thursday at Rogers Arena. A loss would send the Canucks into their summer vacation.
- Vancouver has lost four straight playoff games dating back to last year and now have just one playoff win in their last 10 outings dating back to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. They also have just one playoff win on the road in their last six outings.
- The Canucks have been swept three times in team history in best-of-seven playoff series. The last time they failed to win even a single game in a best-of-seven series was back in their 2011 Western Conference quarterfinal series against the eventual Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
- This is the fourth time in Sharks franchise history that they have built up a 3-0 series lead but they have never managed complete a series sweep. The last time they had a 3-0 series lead was in their 2011 Conference semi-final series against Detroit. They nearly squandered that lead, however, as the Red Wings won three in a row to force a deciding Game 7 before the Sharks finally managed to secure the series victory with a 3-2 win in seventh game.
- The Canucks held a sparsely attended optional practice yesterday with little in the way of lineup news emerging from the session, including which goaltender - Cory Schneider or Roberto Luongo - would be tapped to get the start in perhaps the final game of the year.
- The Sharks chose not to skate yesterday but it's hard to imagine they make any significant lineup changes given how successful they've been in the first three games of this series. Injured F Martin Havlat will be a game-time decision.
- Sunday's game marked the third time this season that Canucks G Cory Schneider has surrendered five goals in a game. The other two times he did so, he responded by posting victories in his next two consecutive outings.
- Sharks F Patrick Marleau continued his playoff hot streak against the Canucks in Game 3 by netting his third goal in three straight games on Sunday. He now has seven goal and 10 points in eight career playoff games versus Vancouver while scoring in at least six of those eight games.
- The two goals scored nine seconds apart by the Sharks (Couture and Marleau) in the third period of Game 3 were the fastest by a Canucks' opponent in playoff history. It shattered the previous record of 17 seconds set by Colorado's Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic back on April 18, 2011. As far as the Sharks' history books go, it was one second shy of equaling the club mark of eight seconds for fastest two playoff goals. That record was set on April 30, 1998 against Dallas by John Maclean and Ron Sutter.
- The five goals the Canucks gave up on Sunday were the most in a single playoff game since the Bruins beat them for that same total in Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
- Only four teams in North American major pro sports have ever managed to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win. Three of those – the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers – are from the NHL. The other – the 2004 Boston Red Sox – is from Major League Baseball.
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