Western Conference quarterfinal
San Jose Sharks 3, Kings 2 (OT)
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: Joe Pavelski scored the winner with 5 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the first overtime at HP Pavilion in San Jose, lifting the Sharks to the victory in the opening game of the best-of-seven series.
THE STAT: Pavelski, in only his fifth season, notched his 16th career playoff goal and third winner in overtime. He set career highs during the regular season with 46 assists and 66 points.
TURNING POINT: It appeared as if the turning point would come 28 seconds into the game, when San Jose scored to take a 1-0 lead, but the Kings made it a game. Just before the winning goal, the Kings has possession in the San Jose zone but rookie defenseman Alec Martinez couldn’t control the puck and then fell to the ice. That allowed San Jose's Kyle Wellwood and Ryane Clowe to set off on a 2-on-2 rush against Matt Greene and Wayne Simmonds. Wellwood slowed up with the puck just inside the Los Angeles blue line as Clowe crashed the net. Pavelski then came up from behind with Martinez in pursuit, but Martinez couldn’t get back in position before Pavelski took a pass from Wellwood and slammed it into the net.
HOT: In his first game back since missing the last nine of the regular season because of a dislocated right shoulder, Kings right wing Justin Williams assisted on the first goal and scored the second, both of which tied the score.
NOT: The disappearing act of Kings left wing Dustin Penner continued into the postseason as he went pointless for the 13th consecutive game. It got so bad for Penner that he was demoted to the fourth line and played only five shifts in the second period. Penner, who was acquired in a trade with Edmonton in late February, still managed to be on the ice for the first two San Jose goals and had two giveaways.
GOOD MOVE: Williams tied the score at 2 with 3:40 remaining in the second period, scooping in a loose puck behind the net after two San Jose defenders converged on Ryan Smyth, leaving Williams unmarked. San Jose goalie Antti Niemi lost track of the puck and was looking over the wrong shoulder when Williams came from behind the net and tucked it inside the post.
BAD MOVE: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty tried to throw a hip check into Sharks rookie and childhood teammate Logan Couture as he carried the puck into the Kings' defensive end. He missed, leaving Couture to go one-on-one against goalie Jonathan Quick and slip the puck through his pads for a 2-1 lead with just less than 10 minutes left in the second period. Doughty also committed an ill-timed tripping penalty with 2:11 left in regulation, but the Kings managed to kill the penalty.
NOTABLE: San Jose defenseman Ian White was knocked from the game late in the first period after getting checked from behind by Kings center Jarret Stoll, smashing his face against the dasher boards. Stoll was not penalized on the play, but expect the league to take a look at the incident for possible disciplinary action. Already down one center with Anze Kopitar sidelined for the season because of an ankle injury, the Kings can’t afford to lose another to suspension.
UP NEXT: Game 2, Saturday at San Jose, 7 p.m. PT