Joe Pavelski, left, celebrates his goal with defenseman Brent Burns during Game 2 of their series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks lead 2-0. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Joe Pavelski, left, celebrates his goal with defenseman Brent Burns during Game 2 of their series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks lead 2-0. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Sharks come home aiming to sustain momentum

The Sharks have returned to familiar territory from their last trip to the playoffs, having taken the first two games on the road against the Kings. After squandering a 3-0 lead in the first round against Los Angeles two years ago, however, the Sharks are far from overconfident even though they’re back in the Bay Area with an early edge in the series. In the history of the NHL playoffs, teams that have won the first two games on the road have an all-time series record of 65-18.

“What’s happened in the past, it’s in the past,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “You take those lessons. You try to become a better teammate from those, better player. We’re still trying to win four games in this series and we got two. It’s a good start for us, and we realize there’s more work.”

San Jose controlled much of the first two games, allowing just one even-strength goal. That’s not a new development. The Sharks have played like that frequently on the road, where they had the NHL’s best regular-season record.

Transferring that success to home ice has been the problem. San Jose’s 18 home wins were the fewest of any playoff team in 2015-16.

In order to maintain their momentum, the Sharks must continue to keep Kings stars Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Tyler Toffoli quiet. Each of the three players tallied 50-plus points in the regular season, but the trio has been limited to a lone assist by Kopitar in this series.

The return of right wing Marian Gaborik after a two-month absence to a knee injury gave the Kings a boost in Game 2, but they’ll need more Monday in Game 3.

“We’ve got to stop playing with frustration and start using our emotion in the right way, because frustration is a waste of emotion,” Kings left wing Milan Lucic said. “We’ve got to go out there with determination and start playing our game.”Joe PavelskiLos Angeles KingsNHLSan Jose Sharks

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Most Read