It had only been done a few times in NHL playoff history, and the San Jose Sharks are on the wrong side of it.
With a 5-1 loss in Game 7 to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night, the Sharks became just the fourth team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead. The Kings simply dominated four straight games, leaving the Sharks and their fans stunned at SAP Center.
San Jose actually scored first in this game, giving everyone a false sense of hope. Matt Irwin, who was inserted into the lineup for the injured Marc-Edouard Vlasic, scored just 28 seconds into the second period.
But the Sharks would only hold that lead for four minutes before the Kings snatched it all away. On a power play, Drew Doughty fired one past Antti Niemi after a continuous barrage of shots on goal. The Kings took the lead late in the period. At the 18:39 mark, a great feed by Justin Williams found Anze Kopitar alone in front, and Kopitar backhanded it into the wide open net.
Prior to the go-ahead goal, the Kings had killed off three consecutive power plays for the Sharks. San Jose was 0-for-6 on the man-advantage on the night, which likely cost them the game. If anything, not scoring on those power plays in the second actually took momentum away from the Sharks and gave it to the Kings, who capitalized by scoring a late, demoralizing goal.
The Sharks then had 20 minutes to salvage their season and avoid an epic collapse, but put forth the same, uninspiring effort. Tyler Toffoli scored for the Kings five minutes in, giving the Kings a 3-1 lead. None of the Sharks’ 11 shots on the goal got past Jonathan Quick, who stoned the Sharks in the latter part of the series. Los Angeles scored two empty net goals to seal the deal.
Tale of the Tape
- Shots on goal: 40
- Power play: 0-for-6
- Hits: 37
- Giveaways: 11
- Takeaways: 7
- Faceoffs won: 34
- Shots on goal: 30
- Power play: 1-for-3
- Hits: 29
- Giveaways: 9
- Takeaways: 8
- Faceoffs won: 43
Good to Know
Only the Sharks…
Entering tonight, teams that scored first in Game 7 had a 111-38 record. Two teams that did so tonight lost at home (Avalanche, Sharks).
— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) May 1, 2014
What’s on Tap
A long, depressing offseason. Not the first time we’ll have to go through this.