NHL 2010 playoffs – Sharks beat Wings take Game 1 4-3

2-sharks.jpgIt was exactly the kind of start that the San Jose Sharks were looking for to start the Western Conference semifinals. Scoring three goals in the first period in a 1:19 span helped get the Sharks in front 3-0, a lead they would hold all game long in beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in Game 1.

Some famous names got on the score sheet while one big name sat out with an illness. The Sharks went into the game with Patrick Marleau a late scratch due to running a fever and fighting off cold symptoms and in his stead, Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley would pick up the slack.  Pavelski scored twice and added an assist while Devin Setoguchi scored and helped draw the ire of Red Wings supporters in drawing a couple of penalties late in the second period, one of which lead to Pavelski’s power play goal that made the game 4-2.

Detroit’s Brian Rafalski would add a goal in the third period to draw the game within one goal but that’s as close as they would get.For Detroit, it was a quick turnaround after beating Phoenix in Game 7 of the first round on Tuesday night and despite having some issues getting into San Jose, being sluggish certainly can’t be used as a reason for Detroit losing in this one. One of the keys to the game for Detroit was likely to make sure the Sharks didn’t get the jump on them in the opening ten minutes of play and that’s exactly what happened.

Evgeni Nabokov played very well in this game, as did Jimmy Howard for Detroit. Nabokov made 20 saves in the win while Howard made 23 saves in the loss.  Game 2 will be Sunday night at 8 pm ET.

Random fun note: College hockey fans will enjoy knowing that three different players from the University of Wisconsin scored in this game. Joe Pavelski, Dany Heatley and Brian Rafalski are all former Badgers.

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    Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

    Niklas Kronwall
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    When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

    (His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

    It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

    He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

    First, the Kronwalling:

    Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

    It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

    Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

    Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

    Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

    Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

    It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

    To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

    The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

    That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

    They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

    Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


    More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

    In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

    Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

    Jack Eichel
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    The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

    You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

    That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

    Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

    Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


    Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

    While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

    In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

    The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?