SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Despite the loss to the L.A. Kings in overtime, it was a big night at the SAP Center for the San Jose Sharks. It was the team's first home game in the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday night. Going into the game, the Sharks led the series two to nothing.
"I'm excited," said Sheri Falcone of San Jose. "I am so glad they are in the playoffs. I can't wait for them to beat LA."
Fans soaked up the sun and soaked in the excitement for Game 3. The Sharks have never won the Stanley Cup in the team's 25-year history. Season ticket holder Anne Van Leeuwen is looking to forget 2014 when the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead against the Kings.
"It's a new day, new game, new team," said Van Leeuwen. "We are going to do it this year."
Inside the SAP Center, a nearly sell-out crowd of 17,000 people filled the seats. It's the first playoff game for 10-year-old David Clark, who with his grandpa drove two hours from the City of Galt near Sacramento.
"My grandpa got me into it. they play really good hockey," said Clark.
"I think the Kings may win tonight," said Jeff Bockser of Galt. "The kings are going to be very hungry. I think it's going to be a long series."
A long series is good for the City of San Jose. Fans who didn't have tickets to the game spilled into downtown bars and restaurants. San Pedro Square's entrance transformed into Sharks Territory.
Henry's Hi-Life is down the street from the SAP Center. The bar felt the pinch when the Sharks didn't make the playoffs last year. The restaurant staffed up and sales are expected to double Monday night.
"The deeper in the playoffs the better for us," said Henry's Hi-Life General Manager Dan Navarro. "Even the first round, it's definitely a big boom for us. On a Monday night, we would never be this busy."
Fans are hoping the team will clinch the series at home and close it in San Jose. Game Four will be played at the SAP Center on Wednesday.