STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS : Clark’s Goals Finish Off Sharks for Maple Leafs
Wendel Clark, shut down by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ opening playoff series, took it out on the San Jose Sharks.
Clark scored twice and assisted on another goal in the seventh game of the playoff series Saturday, and outstanding goaltending by Felix Potvin helped give the Maple Leafs a 4-2 victory.
The Maple Leafs advance to the Western Conference finals against Vancouver, beginning Monday in Toronto.
The Maple Leafs, who sputtered for much of the series, put together their finest game to finish San Jose, the only team to make the playoffs with a losing record.
Clark, held to one goal and three points by Chicago, had seven goals and five assists against San Jose. He put the Maple Leafs ahead, 1-0, at 8:58 of the first period and scored again at 9:30 of the second.
Only Vancouver’s Pavel Bure, with nine, has more goals in the playoffs that Clark.
With Potvin making several big saves, Toronto held a 2-0 lead after two periods despite a 26-11 deficit in shots.
Mark Osborne and Doug Gilmour finished the scoring for Toronto, countered by Igor Larionov and a goal scored accidentally by Toronto in the game’s last second.
In defeat, the Sharks drew a tribute from Toronto.
“Those guys never died,” Gilmour said of the Sharks. “They kept their composure and kept coming back at us.”
“They have been underdogs all year,” defenseman Bob Rouse added. “You’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”
Said Potvin: “I’m really happy not to have to play these guys again because they gave me a lot of trouble all series long. They’ve got an outstanding club.”
Potvin finished with 29 saves.