Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sharks Take Game One, Lead Series 1-0

The California rivalry matchup ended with a 3-2 victory for the Sharks, as clutch player Joe "Pavs" Pavelski scored with 14:44 into the overtime period to seal the victory, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead in the series.

The Kings, although missing their regular season scoring leader Anze Kopitar, recently got forward Justin Williams back from injured reserve after he suffered a dislocated shoulder. Williams had been the second leading scorer for the Kings during the season, with Kopitar being the first. Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick had played a phenomenal game for the Kings, definitely keeping them in the game, as Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi had similarly done for the Sharks. Given both teams' goaltenders strong performances, scoring goals for either team had to rely on strategic in-zone passing plays and very accurate shots.

Joe Pavelski's high glove shot on Quick clearly had been no exception, as far as accurate shots go.

During the game, the Sharks controlled the first period, scoring right away with a Dany Heatley goal just 28 seconds in, although a very chippy and physical playing style led to strong defenseman Ian White getting injured by a blatant cheap shot by Kings forward Jarret Stoll. Through video replays, Stoll was clearly seen targeting Ian White's head, driving it into the boards from behind. Currently, the NHL is looking into it, and given an infraction is fairly dealt, I see no less than a four-game suspension.

The Sharks slowed down their playing style during the second period, which the Kings took advantage of, allowing them to score twice, although an equalizer goal by rookie star forward Logan Couture (with a fantastic five hole shot) left the score 2-2 by the end of the second period.

The third period saw no scoring, however an exciting overtime period followed. For those of you playoff newbies out there, no shootout occurs in the NHL Playoffs, so the game continues until the next goal. Fortunately for the Sharks, the Kings typically dominated in shootout wins during the regular season, and given no shootout occurrence in the playoffs, the Sharks could work their overtime period magic.

That they did, with Joe Pavelski scoring the final goal to give the Sharks the win and the series lead.

The Sharks play again at the Tank this Saturday (the 16th) for Game 2! GO SHARKS!

Special Note: James Hetfield (of Metallica fame) was in the building, and apparently a Sharks fan. (He was given a special nod on the jumbotron.) ALL RIGHT! ROCK ON!

4 comments:

  1. Go Sharks!! Great game... gave me a heart attack once or twice there in overtime, but they got through it. Now just 15 more wins to go.

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  2. Get well soon Ian. You've brought grit, an amazing worth ethic, a no quit attitude to the Sharks D and a quick trigger finger on the opponent's net. I appreciate and recognize the value you bring. You didn't deserve that cheapshot in your 1st playoff game. Hope to see you out on the ice soon brotha.

    -Manny

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  3. I have faith Ian will return, ready to continue the playoff battle. Ever since he came to San Jose, I've been a huge fan; I too agree he did not deserve to get hit in such a way (especially in the first game), but hope the energy from last night's game will continue to fuel the Sharks through the playoffs.

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