Hockey
Kings Live To See Another Game
By Rudy Martinez
Apr 25, 2014 - 6:45:56 PM

LOS ANGELES—The do or die efforts from the Kings paid off in a statement during Game 4. Los Angeles scored a total of six goals on the night with a strong defense in the final minutes to secure their first win in the series beating the Sharks 6-3.

 

Since the devastating pair of losses and the heartbreaking stolen by San Jose in the first three games, the Kings couldn’t deny their fans a below average fight when it made the difference to push on and try to come back in order to win the series. The Kings fight in the first period was set up with an early cheer for the Kings fans as Marian Gaborik scored on a rebound shot from Captain Dustin Brown that came back to the point giving Gaborik his second of the playoffs. The early lead sent morale at a good point for their defense that helped goaltender Jonathan Quick secure the net early with big saves on the glove.

 

Despite not finding a break, the Sharks relentlessly kept on in the Kings end, firing every scoring chance that time allowed. They were patiently rewarded with James Sheppard tying the game in the final seconds of the first period with a rebounded shot off the pad of Quick for his first. The Sharks outshot Los Angeles 17-12, but with the Kings getting ahead first, it only meant a hard fight would come from the Kings bench.

 

Their battle in the second helped regain the lead where Justin Williams took a shot from the faceoff dot near the glove side of Sharks netminder Antti Niemi. He made the stop, but was attacked by Mike Richards who took his stick and tapped the puck under and across the line. The Sharks came back to even the game, where Matt Nieto countered on a rebound from Patrick Marleau’s drive from the far end giving him his second. The Kings responded by making it their mission to gain the lead once more and never letting go.

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The puck slides back out of the net in Kings Game 4 win over San Jose.

 

Williams again got his second of the night on a tip in. Willie Mitchell took a shot that went off the boards finding Williams behind the net to score. Tyler Toffoli made the night more special, as he scored on another rebound from Alec Martinez that went off the pad of Niemi and back to the center where he scored his first on his birthday. The Kings clearly showed a large amount of strength after 40 minutes and with a pair of goals on the Sharks a further effort would still be required.

 

The first minute of play in the third period saw a weird moment from both teams during a faceoff in the neutral zone. It was closer to the Sharks end, where the Kings won the faceoff with no immediate opposition leaving Anze Kopitar to run the ice. He later found Gaborik wide open on the glove side of the net giving him his second goal of the night. It was the goal from Niemi that made Sharks Coach Todd McClellan switch to start second stringer Alex Stalock.

 

Quick spent a large amount of the period in complete focus, eyeing every attempt that came his way, stopping numerous shots in a 10 minute span. His success at killing off the Sharks first three man advantages only assured him a great night at the net. San Jose had the energy in them to negate his perfection of denying them on a shot on the power play and had Joe Pavelski in perfect motion. He sent the shot high on the slot that went under the crossbar and back out in a flash. It was clear that it was a good goal and their play continued without a further doubt.

 

The Kings still controlled the score and the ice. They were not ready to settle down their solid defense where winning a game mattered more than anything. The Kings spent the remaining minutes playing defense all the way up till the Sharks were left with no choice to get desperate. Coach McClellan pulled Stalock from the net with 2:14 left on the clock. The plan busted for the Sharks as an intercept off Captain Joe Thornton’s pass from behind the play went along with Toffoli, who slide the puck across to Brown into the empty net.

 

Their three goal lead would in no way be crested with 90 seconds on the clock. During that time, the Kings turned a page that will hopefully change the course of the series. Quick made 36 saves on the night, with a .923 save percentage though his GAA still sits high at 5.04. The fact that a win could be tallied in the right spot only gives him the feeling of further success in the future. His first chance with the Kings will come back to SAP center on Saturday night. A win on the road becomes the biggest key for the Kings in order to push for a Game 7 back at the Shark Tank. 



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