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25 percent of its power plays
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The San Jose Sharks won the first three games of their first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks thanks to having more speed http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jeff-locke-jersey , better depth, and discipline.

They completed the sweep thanks largely to Martin Jones.

Jones frustrated the Ducks with stellar plays over the final two periods and Tomas Hertl answered Anaheim’s only goal midway through the third with a game-winner just over a minute later, sending the Sharks into the second round with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

”It’s tough to play an elimination game when you got an opportunity to sweep a really good team like that,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. ”You rarely see sweeps. That’s because there’s so much parity and the other teams are so evenly matched. This is a tough game to play. I thought we had some good moments and some moments we didn’t handle well, but we found a way, and that’s been the story all year.”

Hertl scored just 1:16 after the Ducks finally got a puck past Jones when he deflected a point shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic past John Gibson. San Jose then held on to advance to the second round against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

Fourth-line winger Marcus Sorensen had a goal for the third straight game to open the scoring for San Jose and Jones did most of the rest of the work with 30 saves. He robbed Corey Perry several times and got help from a replay review that negated an apparent tying goal early in the third.

”When you play a team up against the wall like that you know they’re going to come with a push,” Jones said. ”They gave us everything they had and it was tough but the guys did a great job. We had a couple of huge penalty kills, some huge blocked shots. It was a gutsy way to win there.”

Andrew Cogliano scored the lone goal for the Ducks, who were outscored 16-4 in the series and swept for the first time since 1999 against Detroit. Gibson finished with 22 saves.

”We came at them pretty hard, obviously a couple of bounces here and there and it’s a different hockey game Armani Watts Color Rush Jersey ,” captain Ryan Getzlaf said. ”Their goaltender played absolutely outstanding, we just couldn’t get it by him.”

Gibson was unable to match the play of Jones, who had a shutout in Game 1, set a San Jose playoff record with 45 regulation saves in Game 3 and posted a .970 save percentage for the series. He was at his best in the clincher that gave the Sharks their second sweep in franchise history after also doing it in the first round in 2013 against Vancouver.

Jones robbed Perry with a pad stop early in the second and then again twice in one sequence later in the period. Anaheim looked poised to capitalize on a late power play in the period but Jones stopped Perry once again with a sprawling pad save.

”It definitely was our best game and it still wasn’t enough,” Perry said. ”You play this way the first couple of games you never know what would happen, that’s the frustrating part.”

Getzlaf then finally got a puck past Jones, although it came a fraction of a second after the final buzzer. Referee Eric Furlatt emphatically waved the goal off on the ice and Getzlaf could only lean on the goal in frustration over the failed opportunity.

That frustration only grew as the power play continued into the third period. Rickard Rakell appeared to tie the game with a one-timer but the Sharks challenged the zone entry and the officials ruled Perry and Rakell were offside after video review.

Cogliano finally scored for Anaheim off a feed from Ryan Kesler but the good feeling didn’t last long before Hertl responded.

That led to chants of ”We want Vegas!” and ”Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!” down the stretch at the sold out Shark Tank.

”Any time you can score a goal after they score one pretty quickly, it kind of deflates their bench,” forward Logan Couture said. ”We get energy again. It brings energy back in the rink. Definitely felt good.”

Even though the Ducks were the team facing elimination, the Sharks looked more desperate at the start. San Jose got the first seven shots on goal in the game and took the early lead with another contribution from the fourth line.

Sorensen http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-j_mon-moore-jersey , who spent most of the season in the AHL, took the rebound of Brent Burns‘ point shot and scored his third goal of the series less than six minutes into the game.

NOTES: Perry had no points in the series. … Linesman Brad Kovachik left the game in the first period with an injury and was replaced by Mark Shewchyk. … San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan opened the dressing room door to lead the Sharks onto the ice pregame.



Dmitry Orlov scoring on Sergei Bobrovsky is a popular clip at a bar in their hometown in southwestern Siberia.

”They always show my goal to him,” Orlov said. ”My friends said that.”

Orlov and Bobrovsky are good friends going back to their time growing up together and have played together on the Russian national team with Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin. They’re split on opposite sides of a first-round series between Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Orlov’s Washington Capitals and Bobrovsky and Panarin’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Game 1 is Thursday night in Washington.

”They’re good players, obviously, and we need to work (against) them,” Orlov said. ”Panarin have good skill so we need to not give him a lot of space and Bob we need to put more shots, more traffic on him. If we win, it will be nice.”

Perhaps not since the Detroit Red Wings’ Russian Five has a Stanley Cup playoff series had so many prominent players from Russia http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-isaac-yiadom-jersey , with all eyes on those them as potential X-factors. It starts with Bobrovsky, a two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender who aims to rebound from starting his NHL playoff career 3-10 with a 3.63 goals-against average and .887 save percentage.

”He’s going to rise to the occasion,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. ”He has every time he’s been challenged. If I had to pick anybody in the league to go into the playoffs with it would be him, and I think he’s pretty confident about the team in front of him.”

The team in front of Bobrovsky is led by Panarin, whose 82 points are 25 more than the second-closest Columbus player.

”The Blue Jackets have added a guy like Panarin, I think he’s a little bit of that difference make, just like we have some difference makers,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. ”They can do some things that they maybe didn’t have in the past. He’s an exceptional player. We’ve got some exceptional players. Sometimes in those tight series, those exceptional players can be the difference.”

Ovechkin has made a difference all year, leading the NHL with 49 goals and scoring 19.1 percent of the Capitals’ total over the course of the 82-game regular season. Kuznetsov caught fire late http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tremaine-edmunds-jersey , recording 11 goals and 17 assists in the final 18 games of the regular season.

”I would say he is mature, understands the game,” Ovechkin said of Kuznetsov. ”Everybody knew he would be a very good, solid player, a talent, and you can see how he plays right now.”

Some things to watch when Columbus and Washington meet in the playoffs for the first time:

GRUBAUER HOUR

Backup Philipp Grubauer got the nod to start Game 1 for the Capitals over 2016 Vezina winner and longtime No. 1 goaltender Braden Holtby. The 26-year-old German started a playoff game in place of Holtby in 2015 because of an illness, but he earned the starting job this time around by closing out the season 7-3-0 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Holtby went into a slump in February and March, opening the door for Grubauer to seize the opportunity. But Trotz only named Grubauer his starter for Game 1 and said he’ll take the decision game by game.

TORTORELLA TIME

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella will face the Capitals in a playoff series for the sixth time after going 3-2 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. Tortorella has beaten – and lost to – Washington this time of year with less-talented teams than he has right now, particularly after the addition of winger Thomas Vanek and defenseman Ian Cole at the trade deadline made Columbus a high-scoring machine.

”I think we’re playing some of our best hockey, both as a group and certainly the individuals Breeland Speaks Color Rush Jersey ,” Tortorella said. ”I think with them and the additions at the deadline, I think our group feels really good about itself.”

ACTIVE D

Washington’s John Carlson led all NHL defenseman with 68 points in the regular season and yet still might not be the best on the blue line in this series. Columbus has Norris Trophy dark horse Seth Jones, who along with Zack Werenski give the Blue Jackets some serious offense.

SPECIAL TEAMS

One area the Capitals have a huge advantage is on the power play and penalty kill, where they’re ranked seventh and 15th in the league. The Blue Jackets are 15th on the power play and 26th on the penalty kill. Since the trade deadline, though, Columbus has scored on 25 percent of its power plays.



AP Sports Writer Mitch Stacy in Columbus, Ohio, contributed.


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