Sharks get 2-1 win over Islanders to win series opener
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Jose Sharks beat the New York Islanders 2-0 on Friday night to open the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six years.
The Sharks are now 4-1-0 in the playoffs since 2004-05 and 3-1 in the postseason since 2003-04.
“The Sharks are very motivated,” said defenseman Matt Irwin.
“It feels good.
It feels good to get the win tonight and start this series.”
The Sharks scored twice in the opening minute.
Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal in the second period, and the Islanders were unable to get back on the board.
“I’m not a huge fan of the overtime, especially when the first one happened,” Sharks forward Matt Nieto said.
“We should have got the goal and the overtime and we were just unable to capitalize on the opportunity.
We were in the wrong spot, we should have done something different.”
San Jose’s first goal came after Ovecha scored in the first period, giving the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
The Islanders responded with a power play goal to give the Sharks an early 1-0 advantage.
The Islanders got a goal from Alexei Emelin, but San Jose answered with an Alexei Nesterov goal, which gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 2-2.
“That’s always a tough one,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
“I thought we were very good tonight, we just didn’t capitalize.
That’s a tough thing to do, especially in overtime, when you’re down 3-2.”
The Sharks scored three unanswered goals in the third period, including a powerplay goal by Irwin, and won 4-3.
The game was a slow start for the Sharks.
They led 4-0 at one point, but the Islanders got one back in the fourth and went ahead 3-3 on a goal by Matt Nieto.
The Sharks made it 3-on-2 in the overtime period, but they were unable.
The Isles scored again in the extra period to give them a 3+1 lead.
“It was a little bit of a grind going in and out of the zone, but we had a lot of confidence in each other,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.
With the series tiebreaker now in place, the Sharks have a two-game lead on the Islanders for the second wild card spot.
The San Francisco Sharks face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Eastern Conference final on Thursday night.
San Francisco will face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, July 29 in the Stanley Park Series at 7:00 p.m. PST.