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I-5 Series kicks off with an OT thriller
Pavelski gives Sharks 1-0 series lead with 16th career playoff goal
4/14/11 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks and Kings kicked off their Western Conference Quarter Final series on Thursday night in San Jose, and from every indication, this is going to be a barn-burner. The Kings overcame two deficits to extend the game to overtime, but Joe Pavelski's dramatic game-winner in the first extra session vaulted the Sharks to an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven affair. Pavelski snapped a 24-foot laser that beat Jonathan Quick top shelf for his third career playoff overtime winner, and 16th playoff goal.

Pavelski's goal capped an emotionally charged game that saw the Sharks lose a key player early in the contest. It was sweet retribution for Jarret Stoll's hit on defenseman Ian White at the end of the 1st period. That hit, a blindside by Stoll, sent the Sharks defenseman crumpling to the ice after his head struck the end board glass. White would hobble to the bench and then directly to the locker room, where he spent the remainder of the evening.

The Sharks would respond with Ben Eager engaging Kyle Clifford in a rare playoff fight on the ensuing faceoff, sending both players to their respective locker rooms. San Jose refrained from exacting any revenge on Stoll, or any other Kings player and focused on the task at hand. That being to maintain their home-ice advantage by winning Game 1.

The Stoll hit served as a worthy distraction given the game White and the rest of the Sharks played in the opening period. The Sharks out-shot Los Angeles 14-3 in the opening 20 minutes, running roughshod over the Kings defense.

White helped setup the game's first goal, just 28 seconds after the opening faceoff. The defenseman helped cycle the puck along the left wing boards, hitting Ryane Clowe with a pass near the left dot. Clowe fired a shot on goal that King goaltender Jonathan Quick blocked, but a big rebound kicked out to Dany Heatley who was skating down the slot. Heatley gathered the rebound and slipped a backhand shot just inside the right post for the quick 1-0 lead.

Drew Doughty got a little overzealous three minutes later with an attempt to contain Patrick Marleau, earning a 2 minute trip to the box for interference. Los Angeles would survive the penalty, turning aside several shots in doing so. It would be one of two Shark power plays the Kings would snuff out.

Jamal Mayers took an undisciplined cross checking penalty 7 minutes in, but the Sharks much suspect penalty kill unit killed off the infraction.

Clowe was baited into a roughing minor with a little more than 4:30 to play in the period after Logan Couture was leveled at center ice as he was reaching for a puck. Once again the 24th ranked penalty-kill denied the Kings from cashing in.

San Jose' fore-check setup a wild scrum in front of Quick with a minute left in the period. Only a pile of bodies that smothered the puck, kept the Sharks from swarming on the Los Angeles net.

The spirited period would end with White's injury, which forced the Sharks to play with 5 defensemen for the remainder of regulation and an additional 14 minutes of extra time.

Even with the 2 minute disadvantage on the power play, the Sharks out-shot LA 14-3 in the period.

The Sharks luck on the penalty kill would run out in the 2nd period after Niclas Wallin was sent off for tossing a puck over the glass. Los Angeles cashed in on a bit of Sharks bad luck.

Logan Couture found himself on a 3-on-1 break during the kill, but he shot the puck wide, creating an odd man rush for LA. San Jose had held the Kings to zero shots on goal on their previous two power plays, but Dustin Brown would bury the Kings first shot on this chance after taking a feed from Justin Williams from the right side.

Couture would make amends three minutes later, slipping a hip check by Doughty along the left wing boards. Couture raced on net and fired a shot 5-hole for his first goal of the series.

The Kings would shift the momentum with a big push late in the period that tilted the ice toward Sharks netminder Antti Niemi. Justin Williams made it a 2-2 game with 3:40 left in the period, wrapping the puck past Antti Niemi from behind the right post, after Douglas Murray left Williams unattended in an attempt to lay a hit on Ryane Smyth.

LA out-shot San Jose 16-9 in the period, fueled largely by the push they made in the second half of the period. That momentum would carry over to start the 3rd period.

Niemi was forced to make a big save on the opening shift of the period after Wallin's stick broke. The Sharks goaltender had to slide to his right to make the pad save on Clifford's scoring chance left side.

The game turned into a chess match with 15 minutes to play, with both teams trying to limit the opposing teams scoring opportunities while looking for a crack in the opposing defense. The Sharks turned up the heat later in the period in an effort to end things in regulation. San Jose would cycle the puck in the Kings zone for a good minute with 7 min to play, but they couldn't get the puck past Quick.

Drew Doughty tripped Kyle Wellwood with 2:11 left in regulation to setup a key moment in the contest. The league's 2nd ranked power play maintained control of the puck in the offensive zone for a good part of the power play, but Kings denied the Sharks. Quick would come up big on a scoring chance by Marc-Edouard Vlasic from the left side after the Sharks raced up ice.

In the extra frame, Brad Richardson just missed ending things when a shot from Clifford bounced off the end boards and sat unattended near the left post. Richardson was lurking in the vicinity, and with Niemi committed to Clifford's shot at the top of the crease, the goal was left wide open. The Kings winger tried to pull the puck back toward the goal, but he lost the handle on it, forcing it behind the Sharks net.

Joe Thornton had his own opportunity to send the home fans home happy, but his shot off a Marleau feed hit the right post 9 minutes into the overtime period.

Marleau raced up the left side after Dan Boyle sprang him with a lead pass at the 13:30 mark, but Quick smothered the shot. Marleau couldn't quite get position on Doughty, who hustled back to cut the angle.

Pavelski's game winner came after Clowe stripped Wayne Simmonds in the Sharks zone and started a rush by feeding the puck to Wellwood who raced up ice. Clowe drove to the net, drawing Simmonds attention and clearing a lane for Pavelski who trailed on the play. Wellwood waited for his linemate to cross the blueline, before making a lateral pass to the centerman. Al Martinez had a chance to lay a check on Pavelski, but he chose to try and tie up the Shark forward's stick. That decision allowed Pavelski to get the shot off.

Game Notes


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1 2 3 1OT T
LA 0 2 0 0 2
SJ 1 1 0 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Heatley 1 (Clowe, White), 0:28.
2nd period - 2, LA, Brown 1 (Williams), 7:25, (pp). 3, SJ, Couture 1 (Clowe, Murray, 10:23. 4, LA, Williams 1 (Smyth), 16:20.
3rd period - None.
1st Overtime - 5, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Wellwood, Clowe), 14:44.
1st period - Doughty, LA (interference), 3:22; Mayers, SJ (cross checking), 7:01; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 15:31; Clifford, LA (fighting major), 19:38; Eager, SJ (fighting major), 19:38.
2nd period - Wallin, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 6:09; Richardson, LA (high sticking), 17:17; Wallin, SJ (hooking), 17:17.
3rd period - Doughty, LA (tripping), 17:49.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 45 42
SJ - Niemi 35 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 1OT T
LA 3 16 7 9 35
SJ 14 9 8 14 45
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 3
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe
Jonathan Quick
Referees: Watson, Kimmerly. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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