Friday, April 30, 2010

The Playoffs, Day 16: No rest for the weary

Sharks get early jump, hold off Wings
They call them Jumbo Joe and Little Joe. The former is Thornton and the latter is Pavelski.

Little Joe needs to change to Playoff Joe.

Pavelski scored two goals, including the eventual winner, and San Jose survived Detroit's push to take a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of its second-round series. Get this: It's the first time the Sharks held a 1-0 series lead since 2007. The opponent? Detroit. The result: The Red Wings won in six games anyway.

Back to Pavelski. He's scored in four straight playoff games, one shy of the team record set by (ready for this?) Patrick Marleau in 2006. Yes, the same Marleau who has 10 goals in his last 36 playoff games and missed Thursday's game because of an illness.

Both of Pavelski's goals came on the power play and he also assisted on Devin Setoguchi's goal. The Sharks scored three times in a span of 1:19 midway through the first period, by Pavelski, Dany Heatley with his first of the playoffs and Setoguchi.

It's a good thing for San Jose it got such a great jump. The Wings scored 1:16 after falling behind 3-0 on Dan Cleary's first of the postseason, then made it 3-2 in the second period on Johan Franzen's goal. I don't know if the Sharks relaxed or what, but after taking the 3-0 lead, they didn't seem very much in control of the game.

Pavelski restored the two-goal cushion early in the third period with a 5-on-3 goal, but Brian Rafalski cut the deficit in half just 2:07 later.

Heatley finished with two points. Dan Boyle recorded three assists. Thornton had a nice pass to set up Heatley's goal. Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves.

Based on Game 1, this is going to be a real fun series. The teams have already shown a Grade A dislike for each other and that's only going to increase as the series goes along.

Stat of the night
1 - Career goals, including Thursday's, for Dany Heatley in 10 total meetings (nine in the regular season) against Detroit.

Quote of the night
"I'm not sure if Jimmy Howard saw this or if it was a well-timed foot spasm, but he got it."
Daryl Reaugh, after a Howard reflex kick-save

Friday prediction
Montreal 3, Pittsburgh 2

(One-game schedules FTL.)

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