Joe Pavelski’s goal at 14:44 of overtime ended an impressive upset bid by the Kings in Game 1 in San Jose. There will be more chances to steal wins from the Sharks -but will this be the best?
Down 1-0 on the scoreboard and outshot 18-3, the Kings bounced back after a sluggish start to neutralize the speedy, physical Sharks. Dany Heatley scored on a goal-front tap-in 28 seconds into the game, but Dustin Brown got the next goal off a breakaway pass from Justin Williams at 7:25 of the second period.
Logan Couture snuck a shot through the pads of Jonathan Quick (42 saves) less than three minutes later, at the 10:23 mark, but Williams wasn’t done. One day after declaring his separated right shoulder healthy enough for action, the veteran right wing beat Antti Niemi (33 saves) from behind the net to tie the game at 2 at 16:20 of the second period.
The Kings killed off a tripping penalty to Drew Doughty with 2:11 left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
The Kings had their chances in the extra period, putting nine shots on goal to the Sharks’ 14. The 14th was the dagger.
Ryane Clowe started the sequence in the defensive zone, picking the puck off Wayne Simmonds’s stick to start a 2-on-2 rush going the other way. Pavelski joined the play as Kings defenseman Alec Martinez fell down in the defensive zone and couldn’t get back in time to prevent Pavelski from getting off a clean one-timer from the right circle that sailed over Quick’s glove.
A few more notes:
Jarret Stoll could well face supplemental discipline from the NHL for this first-period hit on Ian White, which knocked the Sharks defenseman out of the game:
Stoll was not penalized on the play.
Dustin Penner joined Trevor Lewis and Kevin Westgarth on the Kings’ fourth line for the final period and overtime. That was Terry Murray’s most dramatic in-game lineup change (along with the fact that Westgarth was playing in overtime at all, and acquitting himself better than expected).
The other lines in OT: Ponikarovsky-Handzus-Brown; Smyth-Stoll-Williams (no change); Clifford-Richardson-Simmonds (no change).
Murray’s presupposition of early-series hostility was limited to a fight between Kyle Clifford and Ben Eager with 22 seconds left in the first period:
There were no booming slapshots, but Williams was otherwise indistinguishable from his pre-injury form. His final stat line: one goal, one assist, plus-1, six shots on goal (a team high).
San Jose is a fantastic faceoff team (second in the NHL during the regular season), but the teams drew even on draws (36 apiece) — which is hard to do in that building. Big kudos to Jarret Stoll (13-7).
It’s a skewed stat because of the overtime period, but Drew Doughty played 30:28. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle led all players with 35:00.