The Sharks reached the Stanley Cup playoffs on the strength of their strong home-ice record, but Wednesday night the road was not a problem.

Not after third-period goals by Dan Boyle and Patrick Marleau gave San Jose a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over the Vancouver Canucks and a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven rematch of the 2011 Western Conference finals.

"All year the road hasn't been kind to us, so to come here and win Game 1 is huge," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said of a San Jose team that was 8-14-2 away from HP Pavilion this season. "Hopefully we can grab some confidence on the road from here on out."

The victory came despite the fact right wing Marty Havlat left the game midway through the first period with an undisclosed injury, forcing coach Todd McLellan to juggle his lines the rest of the way.

But Havlat's absence didn't slow down linemate Logan Couture, who scored San Jose's first goal on a power play in the second period and assisted on Marleau's as well. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made 29 saves, letting only one puck past him after a pileup in front of the crease.

McLellan liked his team's effort -- dominating the first period, holding on when the Canucks pushed back in the second and then pulling away in the third.

"That's probably the way we have to win, the way we've been winning," he said. "A resilient group -- everybody's important, everybody gets to play."

The biggest mystery in the 48 hours leading up to the series was whether the Canucks would start Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider in goal. Ultimately, Canucks coach Alain Vignault indicated that Schneider was not fully healed from an undisclosed injury.

For the first 20 minutes, it took Luongo at his best to keep the Sharks off the scoresheet, as San Jose looked like the quick, high-energy team that went 12-3-1 down the stretch to secure a playoff spot the last week of the season.

By holding off the Sharks, Luongo enabled the Canucks to get on the scoreboard first, though it took a mad second-period scramble. With Niemi down and Couture in the net behind him, the puck somehow found its way over the goal line off Raffi Torres' stick, survived a review and was eventually credited to Kevin Bieksa at 12:26.

That lead didn't last long, thanks to Couture.