VANCOUVER – Daniel Sedin is making opponents pay on the power play and demonstrating an ability to perform while absorbing seismic hits.
He scored twice with the man advantage Wednesday night as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the undisciplined San Jose Sharks 7-3 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference final.
His second goal came after shaking off the effects of a Ben Eager boarding penalty late in the middle period.
“I think our power-play was clicking pretty good tonight,” Sedin said in somewhat of an understatement as he took the lead in post-season power-play goal production.
He now has five goals with the man advantage and is also tied with Sean Bergenheim of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup goal-scoring lead with eight.
After being crunched into the side boards by the glass-rattling Eager hit, Sedin fell back holding his head with his right hand.
But he got up under his own power while Eager went to the penalty box with the second of his five minor penalties.
“I turned my back,” said Sedin who has been nominated for the Hart MVP trophy won last season by brother Henrik. “I didn’t realize he was coming that hard.
“But it’s going to happen in a game. I’m fine. So that’s all that matters.”
San Jose coach Todd McLellan said he did not expect Eager to face additional discipline from the league.
“Didn’t see him cross the line at all,” McLellan said.
Eager had a different view.
“I’m sure I’ll be getting a phone call,” he said. “I always do.
“It’s playoff intensity out there. You know he knows what he’s doing there. He’s turning. He sees me coming. I’ll take that one. We killed that off.”
Canuck coach Alain Vigneault joked that Sedin, the NHL scoring champion who had a career-high 41 goals in the regular season, embellished the call.
“Well, obviously, Danny embellished that,” Vigneault said with a smirk.
“The league will do the right thing. It was great embellishment.”
Then he added: “You (media) guys saw the hit. I’m confident that the league’s going to do the right thing.”
In the third period, Sedin was in a perfect position in the slot to take brother Henrik’s centring pass and whip the puck between the legs of goalie Antti Niemi.
He was almost in the same spot in the first period when he scored off Henrik’s rebound to give the Canucks a 1-1 tie and end San Jose’s only lead of the game.
The series best-of-seven series switches to San Jose for the third and fourth games on Friday and Sunday afternoon.
Daniel Sedin led the Canucks past the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring five goals and two assists in a tense seven-game series.
The stifling checking of the Nashville Predators all but shut down the Sedins and Alex Burrows but Daniel’s only goal was the Game 6 series-winner.
The Sharks are a much different opponent, one willing to trade chances. And that opens up more skating room for the crafty Sedins.
“They like to attack,” Daniel Sedin said. “It opens up things a little bit.”
Burrows said the line is moving the puck well against the Sharks.
“Our mindset is to get as many shots as we can,” Burrows said.
“When we have guys moving the puck the way we did tonight and we’re shooting with screens in front it always helps and we were able to get a few nice goals tonight.”
Vigneault said the Sedins are confident and motivated and had several quality shifts against the Sharks.
“We said before this series that we needed them to step up,”the coach said.“They have for the first two games.
“They spent a lot of time in the other team’s end protecting the puck, getting great chances. I think the other thing they did well tonight was they created a lot on the rush.
“Our (defencemen) were able to jump in the attack and able to find them. They got some grade A scoring chances and played real well.”
Notes: Henrik Sedin had three assists in the game … the Canucks won both their games in San Jose during the regular season … Sharks defenceman Jason Demers, who sat out Game 1 with what coach Todd McLellan called“bumps and bruises,”didn’t take the morning skate and was replaced for the second straight game by Kent Huskins … the Sharks have yet to win a series after starting on the road with two losses … Detroit eliminated them in 1995 while Dallas did it twice, in 1998 and 2000.