Friday - April 20th, 2018

'Re-energized' Kane thrives for Sharks in playoff debut


'Re-energized' Kane thrives for Sharks in playoff debut

 

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Kane scored the first of his two goals 7:07 into the second period of his NHL postseason debut, helping the Sharks to a 3-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at Honda Center.

Kane, who has played nine NHL seasons, had no shots on goal in the first period. After John Gibson made the save on the first two shots of his NHL postseason career, at 6:39 and 6:40 of the second, Kane scored on his third, converting a pass from Joe Pavelski from the side of the net that found him alone in the slot 10 seconds into a 5-on-3 power play.

Pavelski also set up Kane's second goal, on a 2-on-1 break, to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead at 13:51.

"It's Game 1, it was nice to finally get out in the playoff atmosphere and obviously nice to get my first win in the playoffs too," Kane said. "Now the focus is on Game 2."

Video: SJS@ANA, Gm1: Kane scores PPG in first playoff game

Kane is the first player in Sharks history to score two goals in his playoff debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, and fourth in the NHL in the past 20 years (Alexander Radulov, Nashville Predators, 2007; Mike Green, Washington Capitals, 2008; and Gabriel Bourque, Predators, 2012). He played 574 regular-season games with the Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres and Sharks before reaching the postseason.

Kane said it wasn't difficult to manage his emotions after such a long wait for his turn in the playoff spotlight.

"Not really," he said. "I've played in a lot of big games before and this is Game 1. Obviously, it's exciting to be in the playoffs. But more so, just the first period getting that out of the way. Getting a feel for how I was going to feel and how the game was going. I thought I got better as it went along."

It was especially exciting for Kane that he was able to do it in front of his father, Perry, who made the trip to Southern California from Vancouver for the game.

"It was great having him here," Kane said. "To able to get a win and a couple of goals, I'm sure he's pretty proud. I'll see him after the game. … He's good luck."

San Jose coach Pete DeBoer praised Kane's performance.

"I thought he was great," DeBoer said. "First playoff in 574 regular-season games, nine years in the League, he was excited -- and he delivered. That first goal was huge. Both teams were feeling each other out and there was a little bit of nerves. Gibson made a couple of real big saves at that point, and getting that first goal was critical."

DeBoer said Kane has been a good fit with the Sharks because "he's a world-class player. Buffalo was a tough situation for everybody. When he got the opportunity to get into our room and play with Pavelski and [Brent] Burns and those type of guys, he was re-energized. I think that's what you're seeing. You're seeing a guy that's excited about winning and has his passion back to come to the rink and compete and is really excited about the playoffs. He's been fantastic."

Video: SJS@ANA, Gm1: Kane backhands the puck by Gibson

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