The San Jose Sharks put on display their killer instinct against the L.A. Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarter-final series.
The Sharks jumped out to a five-goal lead at the end of two periods, chasing Jonathan Quick from the game, and then held on for a 6-3 victory to take a 1-0 series lead. The evening started ominously enough – a power outage before the two teams took the ice for the pre-game skate.
The Sharks shot the lights out after that. Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau each scored in the final minute of the first period to give San Jose a three-goal lead after 20 minutes. And away the Sharks went from there.
And it was a particularly eventful first period, too.
Mike Brown, put into the San Jose lineup while Martin Havlat was scratched, threw the shoulder into Kings’ defenseman Slava Voynov, who fell hard into Quick, his goalie, causing a huge scrum behind the L.A. net.
Game on from there.
The Kings made it interesting in the third period with a trio of goals from Jake Muzzin, Voynov and Trevor Lewis, but it was too little, too late.
After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.
Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.