San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski lead by example Thursday night, scoring two goals in a 4-3 Sharks win over the archrival Los Angeles Kings in Game One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The win gives the Sharks the all important 1-0 lead in their Western Conference Quarterfinal seven game series against the Kings. The winning goal came just 17 seconds into the third period, when Pavelski won a faceoff in the LA end, fought off Kings forward Anze Kopitar behind the net and wrapped it into the other side of the net for the 4-3 lead. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones gets the win in his first career playoff start, making 19 saves on 22 shots in the victory.
The Kings opened the scoring just three minutes into the game when a Sharks defensive zone turnover led to Jake Muzzin outwaiting a sprawled out Jones, putting the puck behind his pads, and having it ricochet off Sharks forward Tomas Hertl’s skate and into the net. Milan Lucic and Tanner Pearson drew the assists on the first goal of the series.
An interference penalty to Kopitar led to Pavelski putting a wicked slap shot past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on the ensuing power play to tie the game. Pavelski’s goal came just 3 minutes after Muzzin’s opener, with Brent Burns and Logan Couture adding the helpers.
In the second period, Sharks centre Joel Ward won a key faceoff in the Kings’ end of the rink right back to defenseman Brent Burns, who put the puck through a maze of skates past Quick to give San Jose a 2-1 lead. But Ward would take an interference penalty just two seconds after the goal, which led to Kings forward Jeff Carter putting an odd backhand off of Burns’ stick and past Jones on the power play to tie the game at two apiece. Lucic earned his second assist of the game on Carter’s goal, while Kopitar notched his first.
A delayed penalty call on Muzzin nearly led to San Jose retaking the lead, but Tomas Hertl put the puck in the net after the Kings had already gained control of the puck and the referee had already blown the whistle. This was followed up by a power play chance for Sharks forward Patrick Marleau with Quick completely out of position, but LA defenseman Drew Doughty slid into the crease and blocked Marleau’s shot from crossing the line.
Doughty himself would take a hooking penalty with four minutes remaining in the period, but Kings teammate Trevor Lewis would steal the puck and fire a hard wrist shot past Jones for the first shorthanded goal of the series and a 3-2 Los Angeles lead. It was short lived, however, as Tomas Hertl would whack home a loose puck just 30 seconds later for the 3-3 tie. Ward’s second assist and Joonas Donskoi’s first led to the Hertl goal.
The Kings pressed to tie the game in the 3rd period, but Jones held down the fort, adding 8 saves in the period for the 19 save total. Jonathan Quick had 19 saves of his own on 23 shots in his team’s loss.
Game Two will take place in LA on Saturday, Apr. 14 at 7:30 Pacific.
(Article taken from the SRJC Oak Leaf, see the original article here.)