In what might have - in earlier years - been a killer shorthanded talley by the opposition, late in a period, Cory Stillman - again - leads the way and carries the torch, scoring the go-ahead with less than 90 seconds remaining in the second.
There's been a sense of playoff hockey to this, at least since the last half of the first period. Lots of back-and-forth action. None of that dump-and-chase crap we are so used to.
Stillman has two goals, Ballard's collected three assists. It doesn't hurt - sometimes - bringing in new blood. Doesn't always work (witness Stumpel, Josef), but when it clicks, the results are unmistakable. The Panthers should have rolled over following the SH'er (much less the first PP goal), but instead of burying their heads, they have risen up and stood their ground. Awesome.
A few notes: a very rare Bouwmeester turnover - in the defensive zone - led to the shorthanded goal. Ballard has been - once again - everywhere. He's averaging better than a point per game. Olli something-or-other used to do that. With no defensive abilities. Not to mention The Beach's consistency and back-breaking checking and point shot. We've gotten a superb return on that deal so far. A league-ordered wave-off of a presumed Sharks PP goal will be the talk of the pundits over the next few days due to the final ruling (no-goal due to a distinct kicking motion)from the NHL's "War Room" in Toronto. I'm biased but I've gotta be honest here: it was a goal. And it didn't take a committee dissecting it to find the truth.
End-to-end action leads into the third. Let's do it.