The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings are both playing a good first period of hockey thus far, but the Sharks get the edge in aggressiveness and just about everything else. Ryane Clowe got things started in his first game back, thirty seconds into the game he put the puck on net and Dany Heatley came in to put it in off the rebound behind Jonathan Quick and the Sharks jumped on to an early one goal lead. Ian White also notched the assist on that one. The key coming into this game was to score early and keep the crowd in this one, and that's what they did.
Both teams exchanged possession quite often throughout the frame, but it was San Jose who managed to make the most out of the times they had the puck. The end of the period though, things picked up and both teams had good chances. Matt Greene had the only real chance for the Kings, late in the period he got the turnover off of Patrick Marleau, but Antti Niemi's glove hand was too much for it. Immediately following that, the Sharks, led by Kyle Wellwood, had three subsequent opportunities that Quick was ... well, he was quick to fend off.
Clowe went to the penalty box on a really soft roughing call with around four minutes remaining in the period. The commentators were complaining about it for some time, but the Sharks responded with as much aggression as I've ever seen, getting the puck out of the zone once, twice, three times and it's a successful kill. The Kings are 0-2 on the power play with no shots on goal during. Speaking of shots on goal, the Sharks lead that category 14-3.
Late in the period, White was hit from behind (without the puck) by Jarrett Stoll up against the boards, an absolutely brutal hit that should have been called. He specifically targeted White's head and even looked back at him right in his face while he pushed his head further into the boards - White's head bounced. They didn't call it though, and White headed to the locker room. Ben Eager took things into his own hands and got into a fight almost instantly with Kyle Clifford, and gets the edge in the fight with a couple great right hands. After play started, Douglas Murray hit a defender in the neutral zone, and hit him again when he stood up, as the period came to an end. White had previously made a good play to keep the puck in the zone on the power play, as he fell down he kicked the puck away from the Kings player to prevent a breakaway.
The score is 1-0 heading into the second period, and the Sharks are looking like a much better team than the Kings at this point, but we've still got two periods of play to go. Join us over at Fear The Fin for the in-game thread.