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.
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
Ryan Suter said that Dubnyk bailed his teammates out during the second period, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo reports.
He’s now allowed just 10 goals in six games so far in 2016-17, with Taylor Hall‘s overtime-winner being the last shot to beat him. That came on Sunday:
More often than not, Dubnyk’s been making those saves so far in this young season.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Sure, there will be some grumbles from the “act like you’ve been here before” crowd, but this is brilliant stuff for the rest of us.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not:
As much as this Tampa Bay Lightning – Montreal Canadiens means right now, losing Nikita Kucherov would hang a dark cloud over any result for the Bolts.
There hasn’t been an update yet regarding whether Kucherov is actually injured – or if this is a minor vs. significant issue – but there are concerns after he fell into the boards during tonight’s game.
You can see the fall in video form above the headline and also in this GIF from Stephanie Hail: