This was not the start San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi wanted in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals; much like this was not the play defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic wanted to make early in the first period against the St. Louis Blues:
Here's the CSN Bay Area view:
Whoops. But this is nothing new for the Sharks and Blues.
Niemi, who was fantastic in the Sharks' Game 1 double-OT win over the Blues, made the save on St. Louis forward Vladimir Sobotka. The puck slowly trickled behind him, and Vlasic decided to clear it out of harm's way … well, that was the intention, anyway, as instead he tucked it into his own team's net for a 1-0 deficit just 1:31 into Game 2.
The Sharks, of course, are no strangers to own-goals in the postseason, having witnessed that unfortunate gaffe by Dan Boyle in overtime against the Colorado Avalanche two years ago.
In fact, this rivalry between the Blues and Sharks has seen odd own-goals before as well: Please recall this Marc Bergevin moment of infamy in the 2000 playoffs:
The Sharks eventually won the game and defeated the Blues in that series, upsetting the President's Trophy winners.
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