A Record Rout- The San Jose Sharks have made quite a statement in the first two games of their best of seven series against the Los Angeles Kings. Team Teal Sunday night exploded for seven goals over the second and third periods on their way to a 7-2 rout of the Kings before another sold out house at the Shark Tank in Downtown San Jose. With the victory the Sharks take a 2-0 lead over Los Angeles in this best of seven series which resumes Tuesday night with the venue switching to Southern California. The Sharks once again got a complete team effort as seven different players found the back of the net against Jonathan Quick. Through two games the Kings goalie, once almost impossible to score on has given up 12 goals in this series over five periods of ice time. The seven goals for the Sharks also ties a team record for goals in a single playoff game which was set back in the 1998-99 season. The Sharks also set a franchise record for most goals in a home playoff game and total points by players in a single game regular season or playoff with 19 total. Game two had a slightly different tone from game one as it was the Kings who would jump to a 2-0 lead in the first period as the Sharks would dominate on the shot clock yet found themselves down two goals. Then the next two periods afterward came along and the Sharks opened a can that was nothing short of spectacular.
It’s Seven Past Quick- Team Teal put 15 shots on goal in the first period however it looked like Quick was having a rebound game after a tough opener Thursday night. However what would unfold over the second and third periods was something that nobody could have predicted. After being frustrated by Quick for the first four minutes of the second period it was the most unlikely of players in Mike Brown who would find the back of the net. Brown was able to drill a slap shot past Quick after taking a perfect feed pass by Andrew Desjardins from behind the LA goal. Moments later at the 9:04 mark of the middle period the Sharks would find the equalizer when another fourth line player, Raffi Torres would benefit from another feed pass by Desjardins as he drilled another puck past Quick. Torres goal tied the game and brought the house down. However, the Sharks were only getting warmed up for the firestorm they were about to reign on the Kings. At the 14:45 mark Justin Braun would take a puck off of the boards in the Kings defensive zone and fire a blistering shot that easily got past Quick. Tommy Wingels did not get an assist on the play but played a big role as he was able to successfully screen the Kings goalie from ever seeing the incoming hot rubber biscuit.
In the third period Team Teal made absolutely certain the Kings would not make any comeback. Leading 3-2 entering the final stanza the Sharks would put a clinic on Quick that he himself may not have seen since maybe the first time he ever strapped on goalies gear. The Sharks forecheck was relentless and in the end would simply overpower the Kings. Patrick Marleau would take a feed pass from Logan Couture as the Sharks were on an early three on two breakaway. Marleau with the puck on his stick was able to stare down the LA goalie and drill wrister into the back of the net to give Team Teal a two goal lead just 68 seconds into the final period. Three minutes later the Sharks took advantage of an ill timed Kings line change that resulted in the Sharks getting a three on none breakaway. Joe Pavelski would go top shelf on Quick to give the Sharks a 5-2 lead. The torture that was Game 2 was not over for Quick or the Kings. Four minutes later Couture would also get a one on one opportunity against Quick and this time he would not miss. As the game went on after Couture’s goal things would get chippy as the Kings would start to lose their cool and find their to the penalty box. The Sharks late in the contest would find themselves with an 89 second five on three man advantage where team captain Joe Thornton scored Team Teal’s seventh and final goal of the night. Los Angeles’s two goals were scored in the first period by Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis. Antti Niemi made 24 saves on the evening, stopping the last 18 shots in goal he faced.
Game 2 Analysis- The Sharks showed a good deal of character in this game after falling behind 2-0. Unlike in the regular season, the stakes here were much higher and Team Teal was well aware of that. The consequence of a loss would be a tied series, but also knowing that they would now have to enter an arena where they haven’t won in over three years. The Sharks did everything except to score in the first period however this would not detour them as again the stakes here were much higher. The Sharks explosion over the final two periods was the result of the team getting behind one another and being determined not to let themselves down. Instead of trying to change the game plan, the Sharks stuck to it and kept the pressure on Quick and once they finally struck paydirt there was no stopping them on this night. There is a lot of hockey to be played here still and this series is far from over. Look for the LA Kings to be one pissed off bunch when the series resumes at the Staples Center Tuesday night. The fourth line came up so huge for the Sharks that Raffi Torres, Andrew Desjardins and Mike Brown were the three stars of the game. The Sharks now will get an ultimate litmus test as they must now go info a place that has been a house of horrors the last three years. However the Sharks now have one thing in their hip pocket that they did not have before, they now know they can score on Jonathan Quick which is a huge level of confidence to have. They will need that now that the series shifts to LA.