April 13, 2018 / 5:31 AM / 5 months ago

Kane scores twice in playoff debut to lift Sharks over Ducks

Evander Kane scored twice in a dominant second period and Martin Jones made 25 saves to record the shutout as the San Jose Sharks opened the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night in Anaheim.

The performance marked the fifth career NHL playoff shutout for Jones.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Saturday night in Anaheim.

Kane, who was skating in his first career Stanley Cup playoff game — after 574 regular-season contests over nine campaigns — broke a scoreless deadlock at the 7:07 mark of the second period at Honda Center. Kane was left alone in the slot and, after taking the feed from Joe Pavelski, ripped a shot past John Gibson’s glove during a five-on-three power play.

Kane was at it again with 6:09 remaining in the middle frame. He took a pass from Pavelski while the pair enjoyed a two-on-one rush and hit pay dirt with a backhander. Kane, who collected nine goals and 14 points in 17 games with the Sharks after a trade-deadline swap with the Buffalo Sabres, is the first player in Sharks history to score twice in his NHL playoff debut.

Brent Burns joined the fun 84 seconds later to round out the scoring. Burns prevented a clearing attempt from making it out of the offensive zone and simply fired the puck back toward the net. His offering somehow made it through the collection of bodies and into the cage.

Jones held strong the rest of the way, although he was dialed in from the drop of the puck, coming up with big saves on Hampus Lindholm in the first period, Ryan Kesler late in the second period and Rickard Rakell early in the final frame.

There could be more good news coming soon for the Sharks, as star center Joe Thornton, out since Jan. 23 due to a knee injury, took part in the pregame warmup. Thornton didn’t play, but appears to be on the verge of returning.

Gibson stopped 31 shots for the Ducks, who lost three of four meetings with the Sharks in the regular season, but went into the playoffs on a seven-game home-ice winning streak.

—Field Level Media

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