SAN JOSE—The Kings continue to march back in search for a miracle. A three unanswered night from Los Angeles helped them win another on the Sharks to move one game closer to tying the series at three each. The shutout went to Jonathan Quick who contributed to the 3-0 win at SAP Center on Saturday.
With a huge win to keep the Kings in the playoffs, the newfound glory to play two-way hockey had to be a huge one when it came to playing in the Shark Tank. San Jose did their best to play defense on the Kings, but in every good defense slip ups happen once in awhile. The Kings saw their chance five minutes into the game where a three shot play saw the Sharks scrambling to help out goaltender Antti Niemi in net. A 3 on 2 chance came when a Marian Gaborik bouncer went up high and was nearly slapped in by Dan Boyle into his own net.
The Kings lead arrived in the eighth minute where Tyler Toffoli scored on a snap shot from center to give him two this series. Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams went on a two-man play rush into the Sharks zone only to be stopped by Jason Demers who cleared out the rebound from Niemi to keep the score close. The Kings nearly made it a 2-0 game where a rebounded shot from Tommy Wingels went off the pad of Quick giving Jeff Carter possession.
Carter went for the stretch pass finding Tanner Pearson all alone to take a scoring chance, but was denied by Niemi. The Sharks strength to keep the game at a 1-0 pace didn’t work for long as the big line of LA captain Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar brought the puck to the glove side where Kopitar shot on the open net for his first of the playoffs. The Kings clearly had a great control on the game as they outshot the Sharks 18-6 and had the numbers showing a solid defense through 20 minutes.
With a power play goal remaining from the first, Los Angeles attacked fast off the opening faceoff to give Carter his second of the post season. A hand from Gaborik gave Carter a shot off the skate of Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart to make it a 3-0 game. The remainder of the second was a complete nightmare for the Sharks who were losing the will to close out the series. Instead, the Kings once again showed tremendous power while giving San Jose a chance on the man advantage that went wasted.
The third period was no better for the Sharks. The Kings biggest mission was to hold them off as much as possible with their three goal lead. The Sharks took 14 shots on a five on five situation for most of the period. The Sharks best chance came at the 14th minute, but with Quick on his way to a shutout in the playoffs this year, didn’t plan to blow it. At the horn, it was perfection on the Kings side where they held off 30 shots total with 11 of them being blocked by the defense while staying even on winning the puck at the faceoff dot.
Quick’s performance went down as the best so far and helped the team keep up the positivity to be yet another team to pull off the unthinkable. With his eighth career shutout in the postseason and moving his GAA down to three only great things could come from being a leader for the Kings. Monday night will become a huge chance for Los Angeles to make the hockey world turn their eyes on Staples Center where Game 6 will go down in history.