What was once a commanding 3-0 lead for the San Jose Sharks in this best-of-seven first round series against the Los Angeles Kings has turned become just a slim 3-2 advantage, as the Sharks have failed to close things out the past two games.
Both games — Games 4 and 5 — were lost by decisive, three-goal margins: 6-3 on Thursday, and 3-0 on Saturday. It’s tough to say which loss has been worse, but undoubtedly the shutout in Game 5 has to be fresh in everyone’s minds. The Sharks were denied by Jonathan Quick, who made 30 saves, while the Kings peppered Antti Niemi and forced a change in goal as Alex Stalock came in. San Jose was 0-for-5 on the power play in a frustrating night, both offensively and defensively.
However, the Sharks cannot hang their heads. They still have the lead in the series, with a chance to close things out once again at the Staples Center on Monday night. While the Kings certainly have the momentum, all the pressure is on them to win and force a Game 7.
For the Sharks, they need to get back to how they played to jump out to 3-0 lead in the series. The offense was clicking, all four lines were rolling, the power play was producing, and goaltending wasn’t a predominant issue.
The last thing Sharks fans want is a do-or-die game on Wednesday at SAP Center.
Opening Faceoff: 7:00 PM PST
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: NBCSN, LOCAL