SAN JOSE -- The last three teams to eliminate the Vancouver Canucks from the playoffs have gone on to win the Stanley Cup.
Now, thanks to a tap-in power-play goal by Patrick Marleau at 13:18 of overtime, the Sharks hope to increase that streak to four as San Jose made it a clean sweep over the Canucks with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night at HP Pavilion.
The victory enables the Sharks to advance to the next round of the post-season without a loss for the first time in franchise history.
The series-winning goal was San Jose's third power play tally of the night after Canucks forward Daniel Sedin was called for boarding.
For a while, it looked as if the Sharks would lose after holding a one-goal lead inthe third period.
The Canucks then got two third-period goals just 110 seconds apart by Alex Burrows and Alexander Edler to take a 3-2 lead. But the Sharks weren't through and Joe Pavelski's second power-play goal of the night knotted things at 3-3 and sent the game into overtime.
First period goals by Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski sandwiched around one by Canucks forward Mason Raymond had given the Sharks the 2-1 lead it was protecting late in the game.
The Sharks now hope to follow in the footsteps of the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings — all of whom took a series from the Canucks along their way to the cup.
It may be awhile before the Sharks learn their next opponent as Western Conference series between the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings as well as the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings are knotted up at two games each.
San Jose had been ahead 3-0 in a series three previous times, and though they never managed a sweep, they did go on to win each — in six games over the Colorado Avalanche in 2004, in five games over the Detroit Red Wings in 2008 and in seven games against the same Red Wings in 2011.
The Sharks didn't need long to shake the Canucks' confidence, taking a 1-0 lead at 2:41 of the first period after some hard work by Thornton against the boards and a shot from the point that Burns deflected past Schneider from the high slot.