SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks had been waiting all season to have rookie forward Tomas Hertl and veteran Raffi Torres in the lineup together for a game. That finally happened Thursday, and the timing couldn't have been better for the Sharks.
After battling back from severe right knee injuries, Hertl and Torres played huge roles in the Sharks' 6-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series.
Hertl had a goal and an assist in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, flashing the offensive skill that made him a strong contender for the Calder Trophy early in the season before being injured. He skated on the third line with center James Sheppard and Tommy Wingels.
Torres scored a goal and had a team-high seven hits, setting the tone for San Jose in a physical game with his wrecking ball style. He skated on the fourth line with center Andrew Desjardins and Mike Brown.
"I think he brings a different element, which is obviously positive," Desjardins said of Torres. "Finishing his checks. It's a presence that I think is important, especially against a team like L.A. It was definitely good to have him out there.
"It's great to see [Hertl] back. He's pretty much at full bore already, just jumping in. It's great to see as well. I think it also adds another completely new dynamic with his offensive ability."