NHL Playoff Recap: Bone-headed Ben Eager penalties give Vancouver momentum


THN’s Take: What began as a closely-contested game spiraled out of control for the San Jose Sharks, who head out of Vancouver clearly rattled and lacking for discipline. The Sharks were able to stay competitive through nearly two periods, before enforcer Ben Eager drilled Daniel Sedin into the boards from behind late in the second. At that point – and although Eager only received a two-minute minor – the Canucks were super-charged in the third, exploding for four straight goals that completely deflated the Sharks and led to a slew of needless San Jose penalties. A drastic improvement in team discipline is a must for the home-bound Sharks.

Three Stars
1. Henrik Sedin – Three assists and no giveaways for Vancouver’s captain, who had arguably his best game of the playoffs.

2. Kevin Bieksa – The Canucks defenseman was a force at both ends of the rink, posting his third goal of the playoffs, adding an assist and finishing a plus-2 on the night.

3. Alexandre Burrows
– Played as physically as anyone (he had a game-high eight hits) and chipped in an assist and a plus-2 rating.

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The Black Hole
Ben Eager – If his hit on Sedin wasn’t awful enough, Eager’s sideshow routine in the third period was worse. He took a pair of needless penalties in the final two-and-a-half minutes – including a roughing penalty he was awarded for running Roberto Luongo (and taunting him afterward) while scoring a meaningless goal. The league likely won’t suspend Eager, but the Sharks can – if not officially, then by placing him in the press box for the rest of the playoffs.

POLL: Who was your first star of the game?

The NHL Game Night Recap will get you caught up with all the playoff action. THN will name our Three Stars for each game and tabulate the results after each series. First Star = three points, Second Star = two points, Third Star = one point.