For the third straight game, it was a one-goal contest between these two bitter rivals with the Kings prevailing in overtime.
In another dandy of a hockey game, the San Jose Sharks were done in by a costly mistake in overtime as the Los Angeles Kings are right back in this series as Tanner Pearson scored the game-winning goal 3:37 into overtime as L.A. took home a 2-1 victory at SAP Center Monday night.
It was a turnover just across the San Jose blue line following a big hit by Dustin Brown that allowed Pearson to skate in on a mini 2-on-1 and beat Martin Jones with a quick snap shot between his legs.
The Sharks got the exact start they were looking for as their top line continued to cause the Kings problems in their defensive zone. After an L.A. miscue, Joe Thornton skated the puck from around the net and fired home a shot from the slot to give San Jose a 1-0 lead just 30 seconds into the contest to send the SAP Center into a frenzy.
It was the second consecutive game in which team teal scored on their first shot of the game as the Sharks were all over the Kings in the early going.
However, similar to Game 2, San Jose’s penalty problems would give L.A. an opportunity to take seize some momentum back. With Tommy Wingels in the box for hooking, the Kings were able to find a rebound in front of Jones as Milan Lucic made a perfect cross-crease feed to Anze Kopitar for an easy tap-in to even things up at the 8:10 mark of the period.
The one area where Los Angeles has had in the upper hand over San Jose in the series thus far is on the man advantage where the Kings have converted in each game and looked plenty dangerous.
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From that point on, the road team controlled the rest of the period, outshooting team teal by a 13-7 margin after 20 minutes of play.
The second period was a battle all over the ice as neither team would allow the other to break out of their zones cleanly. The result was a lot of icings and not much flow as nobody could establish any consistent offense other than the power play.
San Jose would have the better of the chances with Quick robbing Chris Tierney in front. A dumb penalty by Tierney gave the Kings a chance to take a lead into the second intermission, but the Sharks penalty killers were able to hang on for dear life as things remained knotted up at one.
It was much of the same in the third period as San Jose did a nice job of limiting the chances against. In fact, L.A. had just three shots on goal in the third period as team teal did a great job of taking away time and space.
Unfortunately, the Sharks were unable to capitalize on two power play opportunities, including one where they held the zone for pretty much the whole two minutes but couldn’t quite find a way past the Kings penalty killers who did a nice job in neutralizing the San Jose attack.
Then in the overtime session, it was the physical play by the Kings that helped generate the one chance that they needed to get back into this series.
The Sharks will rue their missed opportunities with the man advantage in this one, but they still played a very solid hockey game. In fact, this was a great game on both ends as each team really brought it in a high intensity clash.
San Jose will need to regroup and brush up on the finer details of their game and work on their finishing in front if they want to get back on track in Game 4. We’ve got a series and let’s see how the Sharks can respond after a gut-wrenching loss tonight.