(3) Canucks vs. (6) Sharks
Canucks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Henrik Sedin (right), 45 points (11 goals, 34 assists).
Sharks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Joe Thornton, 40 points (7 goals, 30 assists).
Canucks Expected Starting Goaltender: Cory Schneider, 17-9-4, 2.11 GAA, .927 SV%.
Sharks Expected Starting Goaltender: Antti Niemi, 24-12-6, 2.16 GAA, .924 SV%.
Canucks Injuries: Goaltender Cory Schneider (undisclosed) is probable. Defenseman Chris Tanev (leg) is out. Left winger David Booth (left ankle) and center Manny Malhotra (eye) are on injured reserve.
Sharks Injuries: Right winger Martin Havlat (undisclosed) is questionable. Defenseman Jason Demers (left ankle) is out.
Canucks with Stanley Cup bling: None.
Sharks with Stanley Cup bling: Adam Burish, RW; Dan Boyle, D; Scott Gomez, C; Antti Niemi, G; Brad Stuart, D.Something worthwhile about the Canucks: The Canucks have the worst power-play percentage of any Western Conference team in the postseason at 15.8 percent.
Something worthwhile about the Sharks: The Sharks swept their season series against the Canucks, 3-0-0.
Something useless about the Canucks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The first Canucks player to score two power-play goals in the same postseason game was former Penguins coach Ivan Hlinka who scored twice in a 3-2 home win against the Kings in Game 1 of a 1982 Smythe Division final series.
Something useless about the Sharks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Current Penguins left winger, then of the Stars, scored the overtime goal in the longest postseason game in Sharks history. His goal in Game 6 of a 2008 Western Conference semifinal series after 129:03 of play.
Former Penguins on the Canucks: None.
Former Penguins on the Sharks: Jim Johnson, assistant coach.
Who needs to be the difference for the Canucks: Alexander Edler, Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieska. The Canucks' blue line needs to find a way to limit San's Jose's talent and deep group offfensive fourwards.
Who needs to be the difference for the Sharks: Antti Niemi (above). He's been the Sharks' most consistent player all season. he'll need to continue to be that in the postseason.
Best Canucks YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Canucks left winger Pavel Bure's goal in the third overtime of a 4-3 win against the Flames in a 1994 Smythe Division semifinal:
Best Sharks YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Sharks left winger Ray Whitney's goal in the second overtime of a 5-4 road win against the Flames in Game 7 of a 1995 Western Conference quarterfinal round:
EN Prediction: The Canucks are getting healthy at the right time of the season. With their game rounding into shape, they should be able to defeat a somewhat inconsistent Sharks team. Canucks 4-3.
(Photos: Sedin-Rich Lam/Getty Images; Niemi-Christian Petersen/Getty Images)