If the first period of Game 1 is any indication, the San Jose Sharks are ready to bite off the head of that playoff monkey on their back.
Check out some of the first period stats for the Sharks:
• They scored three goals in 79 seconds, setting a new franchise record for fastest three goals in a playoff game.
• They dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 18 of 30 (60 percent) draws.
San Jose couldn't keep up the pace over the next two periods, but did just enough to hang onto a 4-3 victory.
Joe Pavelski continued his postseason tear with two goals and an assist. Evgeni Nabokov finished with 20 saves, including a clutch stop on Nicklas Lidstrom with 19 seconds to play. San Jose's big guns, often pinpointed for their absence during the postseason, are producing. Dan Boyle finished with three assists and Dany Heatley chipped in a goal and an assist. Thornton also registered a helper.There is still a lot of hockey to be played in the series, but for one night at least, the Sharks can avoid criticism of an unfocused and shaky start.