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WCQF Game 1: Sharks take care of business
SJ opens the series with a 3-0 win in SoCal
4/12/18 - By Mike Lee -

Evander Kane played in 574 career regular season NHL games without having the opportunity to taste playoff hockey. He finally got his chance in Game 1 of the Sharks Western Conference Quarter Finals match up with the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night, and he made the most of his chance by scoring a pair of goals in the Sharks 3-0 victory at the Honda Center in Southern California. Many of his Shark teammates played like it was their first chance at playoff redemption.

For those returning Sharks who fell to the Edmonton Oilers last spring, it was an opportunity to at least start this playoff run on the right foot. After falling to Edmonton in six games, many of those players have been waiting for this time of the season to make amends for that disappointing outcome.

The Sharks won Game 1 last year as well, but Thursday night's affair had a different feel to it from start to finish. Both teams used the opening 20 minutes to feel out their opponent, but the advantage clearly fell to San Jose. The Sharks kept the puck away from goaltender Martin Jones, who faced a relatively light load, making 25 total saves.

Marcus Pettersson took a holding penalty 4:57 into the contest to give the Sharks an early power play. The special teams unit for San Jose couldn't generate much in terms of a threat on the Anaheim goal. The Ducks actually generated more shots during the two minute penalty. San Jose only threw a single puck at Ducks goaltender John Gibson.

Timo Meier was whistled for interfering with Gibson at 11:28, putting the Ducks on the power play. Anaheim would do no better with the man advantage, as they struggled to maintain control of the puck in the offensive zone.

Ryan Kessler leveled Tomas Hertl with an open ice hit that was deemed interference with 6:17 left in the period. San Jose generated more chances on their second power play, but they would not get a puck past Gibson.

San Jose out-shot Anaheim 8-4 in the period, but the two teams headed to the first intermission deadlocked at 0-0.

Ryan Kessler had a golden opportunity to put the Ducks on the board when Andrew Cogliano found him with a pass in front of the net, but the Ducks defenseman clanked a shot off the right post.

Cogliano and Ryan Getzlaf took slashing penalties 16 second apart, setting up a lengthy 5-on-3 power play for the Sharks. Kane made the most of his first Stanley Cup playoff game, but burying a feed from Joe Pavelski at 7:07 to stake the Sharks to the 1-0 lead. Hertl, Pavelski and Kane combined for a tic-tac-toe passing sequence which ended with a pass to Kane in the slot. The Sharks forward was all by his lonesome, which allowed him an instance to pick his shot, which was a snipe job that beat Gibson with a knee-high shot just inside the right post.

Kane made it a 2-0 game almost 7 minutes later when Pavelski sent a pass from the right wing boards to his linemate in the slot. Kane took a stride toward the net and deeked right, drawing the puck away from Gibson before slipping it over the goal line. Kane went sliding head first into the Ducks goal, trailing the puck which has already found twine.

Brent Burns scored his 1st goal of the playoffs with 4:45 left in the period, by ripping a shot from the blueline that evaded Gibson. Several players were running interference in front of the Ducks goaltender, but Burns's shot found a seam for the Sharks 3rd goal of the period.

The Sharks turned aggressive after Corey Perry bumped into Jones. Three Sharks defenders collapsed on Perry, which motivated San Jose's public enemy number one to take a couple of punches at Marcus Sorensen. That resulted in a big scrum and lots of flailing fists. Perry's transgressions potted the Sharks a 5th power play of the game, after Perry was sent off for roughing.

San Jose failed to convert on the Perry penalty, but it allowed them to burn clock and wear out a Ducks defense that was already gassed from chasing the Sharks around in their zone for 40 minutes.

The final period was a clinic in clock management while holding a lead. The Ducks did manage to generate 12 shots on goal, but nothing challenged Jones. The Sharks defense kept the Ducks clear of the slot, and when a puck reached Jones, the goaltender snuffed out each attempt.

The series remains in Anaheim, where it will resume on Saturday night. The Sharks joined the Columbus Blue Jackets as the only two teams to win on the road of the eight playoff series.

Game Notes:

* When asked if he expected the Ducks to step up their physical play in Game 2, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said he thought the Ducks were doing plenty of hitting. "They took 6 penalties tonight and deserved every one of them. If they want to continue to do that, then we'll continue to play our game. If they don't, we'll still continue to play our game."

* Brent Burns had 9 shots on goal, but that fell one shot short of Gary Suter's franchise record for shots by a defenseman in a playoff game.

* The Ducks were shut out for the 4th time in 84 all-time home Stanley Cup Playoff games. It last happened in Game 1 of the 2008 West Conference Quarter Finals by the Dallas Stars.

* The playoff shutout was the 5th in Martin Jones career. Evgeni Nabokov holds the franchise record with seven.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 3 0 3
ANA 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Kane 1 (Pavelski, Hertl), 7:07, (pp). 2, SJ, Kane 2 (Pavelski, Dillon), 13:51. 3, SJ, Burns 1 (unassisted), 15:15.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Pettersson, ANA (holding), 4:57; Meier, SJ (goaltender interference), 11:28; Kessler, ANA (interference), 13:43.
2nd period - Dillon, SJ (slashing), 1:44; Cogliano, ANA (slashing), 6:41; Getzlaf, ANA (slashing), 6:57; Perry, ANA (roughing), 15:41.
3rd period - Kessler, ANA (interference), 11:40; Braun, SJ (slashing), 19:10; Dillon, SJ (cross checking), 20:00; Perry, ANA (slashing), 20:00.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 25 25
ANA - Gibson 34 31
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 17 9 34
ANA 4 9 12 25
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 7
ANA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Brent Burns
Evander Kane
Attendance
Honda Center - 17,174
Officials
Referees: Hebert, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Racicot, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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