Apr 6, 2012, 2:58 PM EDT
From Apr. 1-10, ProHockeyTalk will be counting down the Top 10 moments from the 2011 postseason.
Here’s No. 5 — San Jose avoiding an epic collapse to beat Detroit in Game 7, advancing to its second-straight Western Conference final.
After the Vancouver Canucks nearly blew a 3-0 series lead in their opening round matchup with Chicago, most figured it would be a cautionary tale — that the next team to build a seemingly insurmountable lead would learn from Vancouver, and not let the opponent hang around.
The San Jose Sharks didn’t get the memo.
After racing out to a three games to none lead on Detroit in Round 2, the Sharks proceeded to drop three in a row — 4-3, 4-3 and 3-1 — setting up a dramatic Game 7 at HP Pavilion.
Stress the word “dramatic”:
In the end, it was Patrick Marleau scoring the game-winner to push San Jose to its second Western Conference finals in as many years. A fitting hero, given Marleau was called “gutless” by Jeremy Roenick following Game 5.
“For him to end up with the winning goal was pretty special for our team and for him,” coach Todd McLellan said. “I think the monkey may be off his back for the next series. … He was a difference maker tonight.”
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 5
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 28
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 14
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 5
- Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery 5
- Report: Sens’ Murray to retire after next season 0
- Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7 49
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial 11
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)