“Hits and Misses” for Kings at Sharks Game 1 WCQF 4/14/11

Result:  Kings 2, SHARKS {Overtime}  {Sharks lead series 1-0}

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski celebrates his overtime game-winning goal Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

 

HITS

Dany Heatley – Heatley scored his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 13th of his career, at 0:28 of the first period to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead.  Most fans inside HP Pavilion hadn’t reached their seats by the time Heatley scored.  The goal came as the result of a solid defensive play in the Sharks zone by Heatley, who boxed out an attacking Kings forward in front of Sharks goalie Antti Niemi and as a result, the Sharks were able to breakout of their zone with a rush.  With the puck inside the Kings zone, Sharks defenseman Ian White, from the high sideboard, passed the puck over to Sharks forward Ryane Clowe, who fired a shot on net from the top face-off circle that Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped.  However, Quick left a juicy rebound and Heatley, who was crashing the net in the slot, backhanded the puck into the open net for the goal.  The goal also broke a franchise record for the fastest goal at the start of a playoff game, which previously was by Jonathan Cheechoo, who scored 37 seconds into a second round playoff game against the Detroit Red Wings back in 2007.

Logan Couture – Couture epitomized the definition of the word “redemption” with his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fifth of his career, at 10:23 of the second period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.  Three minutes prior in the period, Couture fired a shot on net in the Kings zone that went wide and led to a Kings Power Play goal via a 3-on-1 rush.  Dejected on the bench, Couture came back onto the ice looking for redemption and did so in a big way.  With the puck on his stick in the neutral zone, Couture chipped the puck into the Kings zone and avoided a hip check by Kings defenseman Drew Doughty with a nice deke.  Couture played the puck off the sideboard, skated in on Quick alone and fired a shot on net from in close that slipped through the pads of Quick and into the net for the goal.

Joe Pavelski – “The Big Pavelski” scored his first goal of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, 16th of his career, at 14:44 of overtime to give the Sharks a 3-2 victory.  The goal came as the result of a great defensive play in the Sharks zone by Clowe, who poked the puck away from a Kings player and got the puck to line-mate Kyle Wellwood in the neutral zone.  From the neutral zone, Wellwood carried the puck into the Kings zone and passed the puck over to Pavelski, who was skating into the slot.  With the puck on his stick and Clowe crashing the net, Pavelski fired a laser of a shot from the slot that beat Quick upstairs on the glove side for the game-winning goal.

Ryane Clowe – Clowe had a three point night with three assists and was the only Sharks player to have a multiple point night.

Ben Eager – Back in 2006, then Sharks head coach Ron Wilson was heavily criticized for not dressing enforcer Scott Parker in game three of their second round series against the Edmonton Oilers after Raffi Torres of the Oilers delivered an intentional elbow shot to the head of then Shark Milan Michalek in game two.  Tonight, after Kings forward Jarrett Stoll delivered a CHEAP and DIRTY hit to White that went UNCALLED by the referees {more later in misses}, Eager responded and showed these Sharks take “NO CRAP FROM ANYONE” by dropping the gloves with Kings forward Kyle Clifford on the ensuing shift.  Eager annihilated Clifford in their scrap and got HP Pavilion and the Sharks bench rocking!

Antti Niemi – Making his 23rd career Stanley Cup Playoff start, first as Sharks goalie, Niemi was once again outstanding, stopping 33-of-35 shots on net, and had a huge save at the start of the third period that robbed Stoll of the go-ahead goal from point blank range.  Niemi now has a career 17-6 playoff record.

Douglas Murray/Devin Setoguchi – Murray and Setoguchi both had a game high seven hits.

Jason Demers – Demers had a game high six blocked shots.

Penalty Killers – After plummeting to 24th overall in the NHL at the conclusion of the regular season, the Sharks Penalty Killers rebounded with a solid effort tonight, going 2-for-3 in killing off the Kings Power Play opportunities.

Sharks Team – Despite questionable officiating, blowing two leads and playing without an edge for long stretches of play, the Sharks were able to find a way to win to take an early 1-0 series lead in their best of seven series with the Kings.  It is the first time since their 2007 series against the Nashville Predators that the Sharks have won the first game of their first round series.  Game two will be Saturday night at HP Pavilion.

MISSES

Referees – I understand the referees have a hard job but that does not excuse them for their lousy officiating tonight, especially after they did not call Stoll for anything after his INTENTIONAL, CHEAP and DIRTY hit on White late in the first period.  For those who missed it, after the Kings dumped the puck into the Sharks zone, White gained control of the puck behind his own net and had his back towards Stoll, who came in on White with his elbow extended and SLAMMED White’s head into the glass with his elbow!  White crumpled to the ice as Stoll looked over his left shoulder towards the referee to see if he was getting a penalty, which HE DIDN’T!  White, whose upper lip was cut, had to be helped off the ice to the Sharks locker-room and had no clue where he was.  I’m sorry but the NHL and the referees cannot justify there being no call on that play, which should {and better} result in a suspension of multiple games for Stoll as the league has already set a precedent this season by suspending players for hits like this.

Power Play – Even though the Sharks only had two chances on the Power Play tonight, that doesn’t excuse the fact that the Sharks went 0-for-2 with the man advantage and failed to capitalize on a golden Power Play opportunity with 2:11 left in the third period.

Second Period – After dominating the Kings for the first 20 minutes of play and out shooting them 14-3, the Sharks lost a bit of their edge in the second period and didn’t have that same “Fire in the Belly.”  The Sharks were outplayed in the middle frame by a hungrier Kings team and as a result, were out shot 16-9 and surrendered the lead twice.  As previously mentioned, the first Kings goal, scored on the Power Play by Kings captain Dustin Brown at 7:25 of the period to tie the game at 1-1, came as the result of a 3-on-1 rush  after Couture missed wide with a shot on net in the Kings zone and there was nothing Niemi could do.  The second Kings goal was totally preventable and was a gift as the result of a miscue behind the Sharks net by Sharks defensemen Dan Boyle and Murray.  After both Boyle and Murray missed the puck, Kings forward Justin Williams scored on a quick wrap-around shot on Niemi before anyone knew where the puck was.  The goal was at 16:20 of the period and tied the game at 2-2.

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on April 14, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I thought Vlasic had an outstanding game, too. I, unfortunatly, think the Kings may be walking away with a little bit of confidence after this one, though.

  2. After the extremly hard, awkward hit to White, Stoll stood there holding White up against the glass for a second, I thought Stoll might be trying to brace him up because he knew he was hurt, like taking care of him until help arrived, but all the blogs and reports I have read state that he was looking around to see if a ref saw what he did…..is there ANY chance Stoll is not a “bad guy” and really didn’t mean to hurt him and DID feel bad after it happened????

  3. That non call was a total crime. There is no way they should let Stoll go unpunished. Jumbo got a suspension for a guy running into him but this was done with malicious intent. There is no way the league can let that go. I expect a 4 day suspension at the least. Although I honestly have a bad feeling since they didn’t do jack to Chara who hospitalized a guy. It makes me sick.

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