You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?
The San Jose Sharks failed to sweep the Los Angeles Kings, falling 6-3 in Game 4 on Thursday night. The Kings scored three unanswered goals after the game was tied 2-2, and forced a fifth game.
While the Sharks outshot the Kings 17-12 in the first period, it was the Kings that found the back of the net first on a Marian Gaborik goal four minutes in.
It would be a back-and-forth affair for much of the first two periods. With seven seconds left in the opening period, James Sheppard knocked in the rebound out of mid-air from a shot by Scott Hannan. At the 3:52 mark of the second period, Justin Williams put the Kings back in front on a hard shot from an angle that went through Antti Niemi. But the Sharks tied it back up on Matt Nieto’s goal on the rebound off a shot by Logan Couture.
But from that point on, it was all Kings, who were the more desperate team down 3-0 in the series. They scored two near the end of the second period. The first was a flukey goal by Williams, who tipped in a shot that went off the back boards past Niemi. A Tyler Toffoli goal with a minute left really demoralized the Sharks, as the entered the third down two goals. The deficit turned to three goals just 34 seconds in to the third after Marian Gaborik’s wrist shot caught Niemi out of position. At that point, Niemi was pulled in favor of Alex Stalock.
Joe Pavelski scored in the third to give the Sharks some late hope, but an empty-net goal by Dustin Brown ended all hopes for the Sharks. However, the game didn’t end without some fisticuffs. Justin Braun and Justin Williams dropped the gloves with 11 seconds to play, then at the final buzzer, Brent Burns and Robin Regehr had at it.
The bottom line is that nobody expected this series to end in a sweep, and the Kings were clearly the more desperate and hungry team tonight. Now it’s time for the Sharks to take advantage of home ice and put the Kings away in Game 5.
Tale of the Tape
- Shots on goal: 39
- Power play: 1-for-4
- Hits: 35
- Giveaways: 13
- Takeaways: 2
- Faceoffs won: 37
- Shots on goal: 31
- Power play: 1-for-5
- Hits: 48
- Giveaways: 10
- Takeaways: 4
- Faceoffs won: 31
Good to Know
The home team is 15-1 in the playoffs in the West so far – the Sharks with the only victory for the road team in game 3.
What’s on Tap
Game 5 will be on Saturday night back at SAP Center in San Jose.
Tags: San Jose Sharks