ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Evander Kane scored two goals in his first career playoff game and Martin Jones made 25 saves as the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Thursday night in their first-round series opener.
Brent Burns also scored and captain Joe Pavelski had two assists during a three-goal second period to help the Sharks easily take early control in the series between California rivals. San Jose and Anaheim have been regular playoff teams for the past 15 years, yet are meeting in the postseason for only the second time.
John Gibson stopped 30 shots for the Ducks, who lost a series opener at home in their third consecutive playoff series. Anaheim had won seven straight home games down the regular-season stretch, losing in regulation at home just once in 17 games since late January.
Game 2 is Saturday night at Honda Center.
The game was a remarkable breakthrough for Kane, who joined the Sharks in a trade six weeks ago and finally reached the Stanley Cup postseason for the first time in a nine-year NHL career spent in Atlanta, Winnipeg and Buffalo.
The 26-year-old Kane was thrilled by the chance to make his long-delayed postseason debut, and he contributed 14 points in 17 games down the stretch for San Jose.
After a scoreless first period in the series opener, Kane capitalized when two Anaheim penalties in 15 seconds left the Sharks with a two-man advantage. No Ducks were anywhere near Kane when he settled in the slot and scored on a one-timer from Pavelski.
Kane did it again with Pavelski’s help less than seven minutes later, sliding the puck past Gibson on a 2-on-1 break and crashing headfirst into the post immediately afterward.
The rout was on 84 seconds later when Burns slipped a long shot through traffic for his 13th career playoff goal.
Jones capably handled the Ducks’ infrequent scoring opportunities to earn his fifth career playoff shutout. Anaheim fans threw scattered boos at their team during the third period, particularly when the Ducks struggled to get the puck up the ice.
The Ducks promptly gave away the home-ice advantage they had claimed with a frantic late-season rally past San Jose into second place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim won its final five regular-season games to finish with 101 points, while the Sharks lost five of their last six and ended up with 100.
At least slow playoff starts are typical for these Ducks, who have lost Game 1 at home in four of their last five playoff series over the past three seasons. Anaheim still has appeared in two of the past three Western Conference finals.
San Jose and Anaheim haven’t faced off in the postseason since 2009, when the eighth-seeded Ducks stunned the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Sharks in six games in the first round. Three players on each roster are still around for the rematch, including captains Ryan Getzlaf and Pavelski.
NOTES: Cam Fowler missed the opener with an upper-body injury, and the Ducks’ top defenseman doesn’t appear to be close to returning. The club has said Fowler’s injury could keep him out for several more weeks. … Sharks C Joe Thornton skated in pregame warmups, but didn’t play in what would have been his first game since Jan. 25. The 38-year-old veteran has a right knee injury, but hopes to return soon. … Ducks D Kevin Bieksa also didn’t play, but is likely available after missing the last month due to surgery on his left hand.
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