Joe Pavelski notched his third playoff overtime goal to give the Sharks a 3-2 overtime victory in game one of the quarterfinals in the 2011 NHL Playoffs. It was an overtime period in which the Sharks were stretched thin and clearly tired out, while the Los Angeles Kings seemed to have all the energy in the world to keep going. Defeseman Ian White went down in the first period after being slammed into the boards on a questionable no-call in which White's head slammed and bounced into the boards. He didn't return to the game, and the overtime period was going the Kings' way.
It started well initially, with the Sharks and Kings exchanging scoring chances, but Los Angeles eventually built up the minutes in San Jose's zone, and every second was a heart attack. It was a game that went both ways, with the Sharks dominating the first period, out-shooting the Kings 14-3. When the second period came along, it was all Los Angeles, who out-shot the Sharks and closed the total to 23-19 in favor of San Jose. The third period, mercifully, was edged out by San Jose, but they failed to create a scoring opportunity. It was a fast, aggressive and emotional game in which these two longtime rivals were finally able to bring the heat against one another on the biggest stage.
San Jose had the gameplan to come into this game and score early, and they did: 28 seconds in, Ryane Clowe and White helped Dany Heatley put the puck into net. The rest of the period was dominated by Sharks scoring opportunities. A huge mistake from Logan Couture in the second period led to the Kings' first goal. Couture had broken away on an overly aggressive penalty kill and missed his shot on net, wheeling it around the back of the net and right to Justin Williams, who fed it to Dustin Brown, and Antti Niemi couldn't make the save. It was a 3-on-1 opportunity that occurred solely because of Couture's mistake.
He made up for it though, blowing past a hip-checking Drew Doughty to force the puck in between Jonathan Quick and the post to give the Sharks the lead. Shortly after in the second period though, Williams had a solo goal when Douglas Murray made a mistake behind the San Jose net. A scoreless third took them into overtime.
Antti Niemi was the star for the Sharks despite Pavelski's game-winning goal, making several fantastic saves, including one in which he robbed Kyle Clifford going post-to-post to get in front of the puck. He finished with 33 saves, while Jonathan Quick of the Kings finished with 42 of his own. While the Kings were getting all the opportunities in overtime, they were largely blocked by a team effort from San Jose, while the Kings relied heavily on Quick coming out to meet the puck and laying down on about half of them.
Still no news on Ian White, but there is buzz that there could be disciplinary action against Jarrett Stoll for the hit, and both certainly factor into the series going forward. Williams, in his first game back with the Kings since March, had a goal an assist, while Ryane Clowe, who missed some time for the Sharks, had an assist on all three goals. The two teams will meet again for game two of the quarterfinals series on Saturday.