Sharks retrieve Game 1 black cat; hope to find it a home

Sharks black cat

The black cat that gained notoriety by making an appearance Friday before Game 1 of the series between San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will soon find a new home.

According to the Sharks, the cat, which has been renamed Joe PAW-velski in honor of captain Joe Pavelski, was retrieved by staff at the SAP Center on Saturday. The team said it is making arrangements to transport the cat to a nearby animal shelter, where it will undergo a full medical exam and microchip scan to determine if it has an owner. If the cat doesn’t have an owner, the Sharks are hoping it will be made available to adoption.

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Sharks fight through challenges to knock off Predators in series opener

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 29:  Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks is congratulated by teammates on the bench after he scored a goal against the Nashville Predators in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 29, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks overcame some potential bad luck, some tough luck and a third-period deficit as they took Game 1 of their Western Conference series against the Nashville Predators on Friday.

The Sharks exploded in the third period by scoring five times – including two empty-netters – turning Nashville’s one-goal advantage into a 5-2 win.

Former Predator Joel Ward was the catalyst. He set up Tomas Hertl for a power-play goal and then scored the go-ahead marker to give the Sharks their first lead of the night. His goal occurred on a partial break as he outwaited Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne and tucked the puck around him at 11:49.

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Senators’ Karlsson up for the Norris Trophy yet again; Doughty and Burns aim to steal it away

Erik Karlsson (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Erik Karlsson has a chance to win his second straight Norris Trophy and third since 2012, but a couple defensemen seeking their first prize stand in his way.

The Ottawa Senators captain was named a nominee for the league’s top blueliner award on Friday, joining Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty and Pacific Division rival Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks.

That Karlsson is yet again up for the award given to “defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position” comes as little surprise.

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From chokers to clutch: The Sharks and Blues flipped their traditional playoff narratives

Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

After years of consistent disappointment in the early stages of the playoffs the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues finally came through. The Sharks bested the Kings in five games, while the Blues needed seven to oust the Blackhawks.

That’s something not many people expected. More than 70 percent of participants in NHL’s Bracket Challenge picked the Kings and Blackhawks.

You can’t really blame them either after all the clutch performances from the Kings and Blackhawks and all the previous letdowns by the Sharks and Blues.

But do either of those hold any bearing for future series or is it just a narrative crutch placed on these teams until they prove otherwise?

We don’t need to recap what they did to earn those reputations; all that matters is that everything changed in Round 1. The Blues and Sharks finally exorcised their demons. Or maybe it’s just two teams finally getting the bounces they never got during their previous playoff appearances.

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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs second-round preview: San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators

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SJNSH

SERIES STARTS: Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET, in San Jose.

THE SHARKS WIN IF…

The Sharks weren’t the popular pick in their first round series against the Kings, but Los Angeles was dismantled in five games by San Jose. The Sharks were considered the third-most likely of the three Pacific Division entries into the post-season to win the Stanley Cup, and now they’re the last team from the division standing. They’ve put the rest of the Western Conference on notice as they head to Round Two for a date with the Nashville Predators.

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Sharks finish off Kings, showing they’re for real, and they’re spectacular

Ian Denomme
(Getty Images)

It may be time to re-write the old narrative about the San Jose Sharks. For the last decade the Sharks have been known as a good-to-very-good regular season team that can’t get it done in the playoffs.

It’s only one round, but the Sharks got it done on Friday night. The Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-3 on Friday to, surprisingly, win their first-round series in five games.

The last time the Sharks were in the playoffs was in the 2013-14 season when these very same Kings staged an epic comeback from 3-0 down to beat the Sharks in seven games en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

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Joe Thornton makes power play magic with slick feed to Joe Pavelski

Jared Clinton
Joe Pavelski celebrates with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski is one of the more underrated scorers in the league, and his four goals through four games in the first-round series against the rival Los Angeles Kings is proof of that. But in Game 4 Wednesday night, Pavelski scored a goal even the most stone-handed wannabe sniper couldn’t have missed, and it was all thanks to a great pass from Joe Thornton.

While the Sharks were on a power play midway through the second period, the puck was worked behind the net where Thornton set up shop. As Thornton moved out to the right side of the Kings’ net, Pavelski cut right down the middle of the ice, got his stick on the ice and gave Thornton a target to lay a perfect feed onto. Pavelski made no mistake, one-timing the puck past Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick to give San Jose a 2-0 lead: Read more

Sharks match Kings in swagger and smash to take commanding lead

Matt Nieto  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

At one time during the telecast of Game 4 between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, a post-game day skate was aired featuring Kings defenseman Drew Doughty talking about how the Kings were very confident about their chances in the series. Doughty then gave a toothless smile, one that carried a distinct message.

Even though Doughty wasn’t exactly providing the Sharks with rich bulletin-board fodder, his intent was very clear. The Kings have this uncanny ability to make things more uncomfortable than a British sitcom for their opponents, regardless of where the series stands. Doughty was clearly doing his best to get into the Sharks players heads, a place he and his teammates have occupied with an enormous amount of success in the past. The Kings have obviously earned the right to walk and talk with a swagger and they have the Stanley Cup rings to prove it.

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