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Strong start gives Sharks series lead
San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pre-game power outage at SAP Center left the San Jose faithful sitting in the dark as they waited for Thursday's Game 1 to start.
Thankfully, the Sharks lit the lamp early and often.
Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau scored 48 seconds apart late in San Jose's three-goal first period and Antti Niemi notched 31 saves, as the Sharks secured a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in the opener of this Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
Joe Thornton also tallied in the first, while Raffi Torres and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each scored in the second to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead.
The Kings finally came to life with a three-goal third period, but Niemi made just enough saves down the stretch before Brent Burns buried an empty-netter in the final minute to ensure the Sharks drew first blood in this best-of- seven set.
Vlasic, Hertl and Burns each added an assist, while James Sheppard picked up a pair of helpers for the Sharks, who were bounced from last year's playoffs by the Kings in seven games in the semifinals.
Jake Muzzin, Trevor Lewis and Slava Voynov supplied the goals for Los Angeles, which saw goaltender Jonathan Quick chased after giving up five goals on 28 shots.
Martin Jones stopped all four shots he faced in relief for the Kings, who will look to escape San Jose with a series split when they play Game 2 on Sunday.
04/18 01:32:30 ET