San Jose would ride their red-hot power play to a 3-0 lead, before holding on late as team teal would take a 3-1 series advantage over the Kings.
8. Sharks Power Play Paves The Way To Victory
Fresh off their first defeat of these playoffs in Game 3, many wondered how the San Jose Sharks would respond after falling in overtime two nights earlier.
The talk coming from the Los Angeles Kings centered around having the Sharks right where they wanted them with a chance to even the series before shifting back to Staples Center.
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It set the stage for a tremendous affair at SAP Center as San Jose looked to bounce back after a tough defeat. After a fast start to the contest which saw both teams generate quality chances, it remained scoreless after one period of play.
Then, team teal’s power play would go to work in the middle frame as the Sharks would start to take control of this one.
First, it was Brent Burns who would break the deadlock, rifling home a patented Burnzie one-timer off a perfect cross-ice feed from Joel Ward.
After San Jose ran into a bit of penalty trouble of their own, team teal’s penalty killers were able to rise to the occasion, killing off two-straight power plays for the Kings.
When the Sharks were afforded another opportunity just short of the midway point of the second, they would strike again behind the typical combination of Joe Thornton to Joe Pavelski. Pavelski did a nice job of finding a little soft spot in front of Jonathan Quick and Thornton made a picture perfect pass right on to the tape of the captain who one-timed home his fourth goal of the postseason.
With San Jose holding a 2-0 lead heading into the final period, team teal would continue to stay hot with the man advantage.
Following a Jamie McBain high-sticking penalty 94 seconds into the third, the Sharks would strike for their third power-play goal of the evening.
It would take only six seconds as Patrick Marleau would corral a bouncing puck in front before roofing a beautiful backhand past Quick as San Jose appeared to have this one all wrapped up.
But the Kings wouldn’t go quietly as they forced the Sharks and their fans to sweat out the final 18 minutes of action.
More than a minute after Marleau’s tally, Trevor Lewis would get L.A. on the board as a Luke Schenn shot from the point deflected off the Kings forward in front.
Then, a little more than four minutes later, it was Schenn who would get credit as his seeing eye shot from the blue line made its way through a mass of bodies in front past a screened Martin Jones.
L.A. would continue to carry the play as they pushed for the tying marker, outshooting team teal by a 12-5 margin in the third.
But they wouldn’t be able to find a final breakthrough as Jones and the Sharks defense did just enough to hold on for a 3-2 victory as San Jose took a commanding 3-1 series lead.
This game personified the Sharks run through the playoffs in many respects as they bounced back after a tough loss the game before. Team teal’s resolve was certainly tested as they nearly gave this game away but they were able to regroup and hold firm.
The potency of San Jose’s man advantage attack was also on display as they ended the night 3-for-4 as they showcased why many considered the Sharks power play the most lethal of these playoffs.