Three of the first six 2012 playoff contests have gone past the third period, but this was the first that felt like the first true overtime battle. Antti Niemi deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Sharks in this game despite the fact that they were heavily out shot in the first overtime period. However, the man of the hour is Martin Havlat, who spent the better part of the season on the sidelines. He has been great since his return from a hamstring injury and has a five-game point streak dating back to the regular season. Havlat scored a double-OT goal to give the Sharks a 3-2 win against the Blues.
So what did you think of the game? Here’s a few points to keep in mind:
- San Jose Sharks got just three goals in four games against St. Louis during the regular season. They didn’t exactly overpower the Blues on Thursday, but they did prove they can beat their defense and goaltending.
- After a relatively quiet first period, things heated up. They drew four minor penalties each over the second and third periods and they traded power-play goals.
- St. Louis’ Patrik Berglund stepped up in this game after getting no points during the Blues’ brief playoff run back in 2009.
- Speaking of youngsters stepping up, Andrew Desjardins scored the goal that sent this game to overtime with just 5:16 remaining in the third period. He has five goals in 93 career regular season games, but two goals in four postseason contests. Could we have the making of a playoff hero?
- Antti Niemi’s final playoff game of the Sharks’ 2011 playoff run went to double overtime. So starting off his 2012 playoff campaign with a double overtime win seems somehow appropriate.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?