If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
The San Jose Sharks were on the verge of sweeping the Los Angeles Kings, but after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to the Kings in Game 5, now find themselves having to trek down to L.A. for a sixth game, up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
From the start, it was clear that the Kings were the better team on the ice Saturday night in San Jose. A dominating first period in which the Kings outshot the Sharks 18-6 resulted in a 2-0 lead for Los Angeles after one. Tyler Toffoli scored the first goal at the 8:09 mark, wristing one past Antti Niemi on a break after the Sharks had put some pressure on the Kings at the other end. The second goal was almost a case of deja vu, as after Joe Thornton couldn’t knock down a Brent Burns centering pass, the Kings took it back the other way on a 3-on-2. A shot by Dustin Brown off Niemi’s pad was followed up by Anze Kopitar, who put it in an empty net.
A tripping penalty by Justin Braun toward the end of the period meant the Kings power play would carry over to start the second, and a Jeff Carter goal that caromed off Brad Stuart in front just 22 seconds in to the period put the Sharks down 3-0. Niemi was then pulled from the game in favor of Alex Stalock, as Todd McLellan looked to spark some energy into his team. But while Stalock didn’t allow a goal, the Sharks were stymied by Jonathan Quick at the other end. Quick, who was the game’s first star, made 30 saves and looked like the Jonathan Quick of last year’s postseason. San Jose went 0-for-5 on the power play, and Quick stopped some Grade-A chances in the later periods.
However, there’s no other way to sugarcoat it: the Sharks are officially in a battle now, and whatever overconfidence they had after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the series needs to disappear. The Kings are just too good to go down easily, and now the series shifts back to the Staples Center on Monday.
Tale of the Tape
- Shots on goal: 30
- Power play: 0-for-5
- Hits: 55
- Giveaways: 26
- Takeaways: 13
- Faceoffs won: 25
- Shots on goal: 41
- Power play: 1-for-4
- Hits: 49
- Giveaways: 11
- Takeaways: 10
- Faceoffs won: 27
Good to Know
The Sharks had 30 shots, the 6th time in their playoff history they were shut out with 30+ shots. Quick has 3 of those 6 shutouts.
— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) April 27, 2014
What’s on Tap
Game 6 is on Monday at Staples.