|Sharks try to forget opening rout by Golden Knights|
LAS VEGAS -- After suffering the worst playoff loss in team history on Thursday night, a 7-0 shellacking by the Vegas Golden Knights in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals, the San Jose Sharks awoke to find that the sun did indeed come up in the morning.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he was anxious to see how his team, which swept Anaheim in the first round, will bounce back in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
"It's the first adversity we've faced in the playoffs, real adversity," DeBoer said. "It's on us to respond now. ... We've got a lot of character, a lot of pride in there. This series is a long way from over."
Pretty optimistic words for a coach facing a Vegas team that is 5-0 in the playoffs, 32-10-2 at home this season, and has the hottest goalie on the planet. Marc-Andre Fleury goes into Saturday night's game with back-to-back shutouts and an eye-popping .982 save percentage in the playoffs.
The Golden Knights scored four goals in the first 12 minutes Thursday night, matching the total number of goals that San Jose and goalie Martin Jones allowed in the entire series against Anaheim.
Vegas had seven different goal scorers and 11 players who ended up on the scoresheet, led by center Jonathan Marchessault (one goal, two assists). William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each chipped in with three assists.
"We had a laundry list of issues," DeBoer, who guided the Sharks to the Stanley Cup finals in 2016, said. "We weren't good. They beat us. ... (But) you don't get extra points for winning by a touchdown like they did."
A win on Saturday and San Jose still goes home with a split and home-ice advantage. However, that possibility became a whole lot tougher for the Sharks on late Friday afternoon.
The NHL's Department of Player Safety suspended left winger Evander Kane for one game for a cross-check to the face of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare during a third-period scrum that resulted in Kane receiving a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
Kane had 14 points in 17 regular-season games after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 26. He had three goals and an assist in San Jose's four-game sweep of Anaheim in the first round.
"It's difficult, but it's not," DeBoer told the San Jose Mercury News on Friday before the suspension was announced. "It's like an injury. If he's out, it's next man up and we'll stick somebody else in there. It doesn't change our preparation."
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said his team must guard against overconfidence after the lopsided win in the opener and continue its one-game-at-a-time approach that has proved to be so successful during their storybook first season.
"We just have to be ready to play the next game," Gallant said. "We know San Jose is a good hockey club and that (7-0) is not going to happen again.
"They're a great hockey team and we got some early goals on them and took advantage of that. They'll be a lot better and hopefully we'll be better, too."