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DeBoer era kicks off with a bang
Sharks roll Kings 5-1 on opening night
10/7/15 - By Mike Lee -

After playing what was arguably their worst hockey in over a decade, the Sharks had a long off-season to contemplate how they would respond. Six months later, San Jose kicked of their 2015-16 campaign with the look of a team that's been rehabilitated and eager to prove that last season was an anomaly. They got things started with a commanding 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The game amounted to the first few steps of a marathon, but to win in such resounding style was exactly what head coach Peter DeBoer wanted as he made his debut with the San Jose. The team clicked on just about every facet of the game, but their attention to defensive coverage left the Kings with little opportunity to do much.

The Sharks season got off to an auspicious start when Nick Shore deflected a Dustin Brown shot from just outside the right post past new San Jose goaltender Martin Jones. Shore was tied up by Tomas Hertl, but he was able to get his blade out to his right with his back to the net. The rising Brown shot made an abrupt change of direction when it got to Shore, beating Brown on the first shot of the game.

That would be it for Los Angeles.

Jones settled down and sat back as his teammates went to work and dissected Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Even though Los Angeles held a 1-0 lead, the Sharks were generating more scoring chances. With the Kings pressing in the Sharks zone, Joe Thornton gathered up a turnover in his own zone then skated up ice on a 3-on-1 break. Programmed to pass, Thornton crossed up Quick with a shot that slipped past the Kings goaltender to the high stick side.

Shore took a delay of game penalty with 4:14 left in the period after he covered the puck with his hand. Newly anointed Sharks captain Joe Pavelski picked up where he left off last season by scoring on the power play, after tipping a Brent Burns shot from the left side. Brown got his stick in front of Burns' shot, but he ended up slowing the puck down and potentially fooling his own goaltender and the puck knuckled to Pavelski for the redirect.

Burns gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead with his 1st goal of the season at 6:07 of the 2nd period. Burns snapped a wrist shot from the top of the right circle as rookie forward Joonas Donskoi created traffic in front of the Quick. The Kings netminder never saw the shot, as his stationary posture revealed. Donskoi didn't record a point on the goal, but he created the chance with his effort in front of the net.

Alec Martinez put the Sharks on the power play for the 4th time of the game after he took a holding penalty at the 7 minute mark of the period. Hertl converted that power play chance with a deflection from the top of the crease after Marc-Edouard Vlasic threw a puck on net from the point.

Jones workload was limited by his team's smothering defense. He faced only 10 shots through the first 30 minutes of the contest, but he was put to the test late in the middle period. Tyler Toffoli had a chance to cut into the Sharks lead when a puck found its way to his stick as he faced the net from 10 feet out while the Kings were on a power play. Jones stoned Taffoli by pivoting to his left with a leg pad and his glove extended out to create the barrier that denied Toffoli.

With little evidence that the Kings were going to right the ship, Donskoi punched a hole in the Kings hull by scoring his 1st NHL goal 3:31 into the 3rd period. Pavelski ripped a shot from the slot that hit the crossbar and shot across the goal mouth toward the left post. Donskoi was crashing in from the left side when the puck deflected off his stomach and into the goal. Pavelski was originally credited with the goal, but that was later corrected after a video review.

The Kings frustration spilled over later in the period when Matt Greene went after Barclay Goodrow with a late hit along the right wing boards. Mike Brown immediately jumped in to protect his younger linemate, engaging Greene. Goodrow ended up exchanging blows with Andy Andreoff in a mismatch that the Sharks forward was able to survive.

The Kings missed on a 5-on-3 chance later after Brown was whistled for interference, then Logan Couture was sent off for running into Quick. Things escalated when Couture exited the penalty box and lined up Milan Lucic with a hip check that sent the former Bruins forward flipping head over heels.

Lucic took exception to the hit and immediately chased Couture to the front of the Sharks bench where he left is feet to lay a hit on the Sharks centerman. Couture laughed off the hit, and got bigger kick out of the match penalty that Lucic received for targeting his antagonist.

Lucic receives an automatic suspension for the penalty, but the league will decide just how long that suspension will be.

Game Notes:

Speaking of Match Penalties, the Sharks announced before the game that Raffi Torres will not appeal his 41-game suspension. The Sharks forward will not be able to return to the ice until January.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 2 1 5
LA 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, LA, Shore 1 (Brown, Doughty), 1:49. 2, SJ, Thornton 1 (Martin), 9:43. 3, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Burns, Marleau), 15:52, (pp).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Burns 1 (Pavelski, Thornton), 6:07. 5, Hertl 1 (Vlasic, Wingels), 8:14, (pp).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Donskoi 1 (Pavelski, Vlasic), 3:31.
1st period - Brown, SJ (fighting major), 1:51; Clifford, LA (fighting major), 1:51; Goodrow, SJ (slashing), 11:48; Gaborik, LA (tripping), 12:23; Shore, LA (closing hand on puck), 15:46; Ehrhoff, LA (interference), 19:50.
2nd period - Dillon, SJ (high sticking), 2:00; Martinez, LA (holding), 7:00; Vlasic, SJ (roughing), 11:55; Tierney, SJ (holding the stick), 17:57.
3rd period - Goodrow, SJ (fighting major), 5:11; Greene, LA (charging), 5:11; Andreoff, LA (fighting major), 5:11; Greene, LA (roughing), 5:11; Brown, SJ (roughing), 5:11; Ehrhoff, LA (interference), 11:13; Brown, SJ (interference), 16:00; Couture, SJ (goaltender interference), 18:30; Lucic, LA (match penalty), 18:41.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 20 19
LA - Quick 32 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 14 6 12 32
LA 8 6 6 20
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 7
LA 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Joe Thornton
Brent Burns
Referees: Pochmara, Meier. Linesmen: Knorr, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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