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Sharks quiet critics and advance to the second round

The San Jose Sharks celebrate winning the quarterfinals series against the Avalanche
The San Jose Sharks celebrate winning the quarterfinals series against the Avalanche
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The number 1 seed San Jose Sharks defeated the Colorado Avalanche in six games to vault into the second round. 

The top-seeded Sharks were not going to lose to the eighth seed for the second consecutive year. 

Joe Pavelski, the Sharks' second line center, is proving himself to be a clutch player and a central piece to the San Jose Organization.  Pavs score the first goal of the game, less than a minute in.  Pavs fought for the puck behind the Colorado net, won the battle, and quickly wrapped it around the post and past Anderson to put the Sharks up 1-0.

The Sharks are now rewarded with a break as they wait for their next opponent.  Depending on how the rest of the Western Conference games go, the Sharks could play the Phoenix Coyotes, the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, or the Nashville Predators.

After Pavelski's early-game goal, the Avalanche were able to notch two of their own, taking a one goal lead. 

Marek Svatos scored first for the Avs, tying the game at one.  Rookie Brandon Yip scored his second goal of the playoffs to give the Avs their first lead of the game.

However, the Sharks were able to answer back quickly and firmly.  Dan Boyle once again showed that he has gotten over his OT own-goal that put the Sharks down 2-1 in the series.  Boyle took a hard slapshot that hit top shelf, beating Anderson over his glove. 

About a minute and a half later, Joe Pavelski would score the game winning goal for the Sharks.  Pavelski squeezed by Adam Foote on the boards, and carried the puck into the slot.  Pavs lost the puck for a second, before reaching behind himself, and ripping the puck top shelf and giving the Sharks a 3-2 lead that they would never relinquish. 

The Sharks protected their lead until the young Avs were forced to pull their goalie and try for the man advantage.  Devin Setoguchi took advantage of the opportunity to score an empty net goal. 

The Avs kept their goalie out of the game, hoping for a desperate two-goal comeback, but Douglas Murray, the big Sharks' defenseman instead scored his first playoff goal.  The Sharks ended up winning the game 5-2.

The Sharks progressed past the first round.  While this is further than the Sharks went last year, San Jose will need to continue their winning ways to quiet their critics and buck the "chokers" nicknames. 

In order for the Sharks to do this, the famed HTML line needs to show up.  The trio of Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau were limited to only one goal this series.  Granted, Heatley is dealing with an undisclosed lower body injury, but the big three need to provide offensive output so the Sharks can play to their full potential and keep winning. 

The three had good scoring chances, but capitalizing on those chances is a "must" for round two.

Like the Sharks, it's time to rest up and prepare for the next post-season battle.


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