Sharks Look Like Old Selves in Impressive Game 1 Win Vs. Golden Knights

No Stanley Cup playoff series has ever been won or lost in the first contest alone.

But there were some early trends to note in the Sharks' 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night at SAP Center.

The Sharks improved to 33-0 when allowing two goals or fewer. Martin Jones was stellar down the stretch in goal. And on the other side of the puck, the home team managed to score in every period.

Here are five takeaways from the Sharks' Game 1 win:

Sharks back

Let's begin with a big headline: the Sharks looked nothing like their final dozen games of the regular season, where they won just three times down the stretch.

And Erik Karlsson looked nothing like a player who missed almost 30 games, and 17 of the final 18 with a groin injury.

The Sharks not only established themselves in this matchup but re-established themselves as one of the NHL's most dangerous teams.

Oh captain, my captain

 Joe Pavelski was an absolute beast in Game 1.

 He took a puck to the mouth to score the Sharks' first goal of the game. The captain got called for a bogus penalty later after being thrown into the Las Vegas crease, and then he drew a slashing penalty while fighting for a loose puck.

Not like you expected anything less from the captain, but he delivered with a signature performance.

The only thing more we can hope for is that he has no further complications from the facial injury.

Getting to Fleury

There have to be some questions brewing around Marc-Andre Fleury. Not his experience or his capabilities, but how things have been going lately.

In games 81 and 82 of the regular season, he came back from a combination of injury and paternity leave, and allowed matching four-spots. When he physically and repeatedly went after Micheal Haley in the third period in Game 1, it was a distinct sign the Sharks had got under his skin.

Will physical play take its toll?

Can this brand of physicality be sustained from both sides?

And furthermore, how much success can the winning team of this series have in the next round?

Players taking and making a ridiculous amount of hits in Game 1 set an unbelievable tone for the remainder of the series.

[RELATED: Karlsson, Burns form potent combo in Game 1]

Sigh of relief

The health status of Timo Meier (upper-body) and Erik Karlsson (groin) were question marks entering the series, but it was refreshing to realize early on that they were physically able to contribute.

Karlsson had two assists in the second period and finished with the second most time on ice for San Jose. Meier laid nine hits and looked ready to finish any and every check he could.

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us