It was one of those game where you knew the home team had to win. Not that they were going to, but that they had to. There was that air of necessity in San Jose as the Sharks welcomed their close neighbours the Los Angeles Kings into their arena for the first time this post season. Trailing 2-0 in the series, the home team needed a win to keep themselves competing. And a win they got, drawing this series to 2-1 for LA.
The playoffs are all about starting strong. It’s hard to bite and claw your way back in to a game. San Jose took this advice to heart, and on an early power play, unleashed the man known as Dan Boyle. 90 Seconds into the first frame, Boyle takes a feed at the point and unload a puck on the net. Just like that, the Sharks take an early lead in this game, putting LA behind the 8 ball early. Just after the midway point of the period, Brad Stuart would dish the puck out into the slot to a waiting Tyler Toffoli who would pot this in the net and tie the game at 1. The problem is that Brad Stuart plays for the Sharks and makes a terrible clearing pass up the center of the ice, making his Atom, PeeWee and Bantam coaches collectively cringe.
Early in the second period, after losing Martin Havlat to an undisclosed injury, Logan Couture is taken awkwardly into the boards and would leave the game for a little while. Clean check into the boards, just weird positioning in case there was concern. The second period was all San Jose pressure and all Jonathan Quick denying that pressure.
Not to be outdone, Antti Niemi decided he would go about stopping everything in period 3. Whether this led to some frustrations, or it was just indisciplined play, the Kings found themselves on the opposite side of a 5-3 heading in to OT, unlike game 2. It didn’t take long for the story to unfold the same way, but for different teams. With Logan Couture back in the lineup (he returned earlier after the injury),and sitting in the slot, the puck found its way on to his stick, and then very quickly in to the back of the net.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Logan Couture
2- Antti Niemi
3 – Jonathan Quick