The series so far has been defined by home ice advantage. As in 3 games down, 3 wins for the home team. If San Jose wanted to stay in this series, they need to pulling for that advantage to continue. Luckily, I’m going to include Antti Niemi as home ice advantage.
The way this series is playing out, if you don’t have the heart to push for second chances you aren’t going to win game. Just over 5 into the first frame, that sentiment gets put on display. Coming from behind the net, Joe Thornton feeds Brent Burns in front of the net. The first shot is stopped but the puck come back to Big Joe, who feed Burns again. This time there would be no more chances as Burns gives the Sharks a 1-0 lead early in the game.
Early into the second period the collisions involving Dustin Brown in this game reach two. First he collided with Patrick Marleau, and early in the second got run into by Logan Couture. Brown would be fine, Couture looked a little worse for wear, especially coming off the awkward injury last game. He would stick around in the game though, and on a power play later in the period would prove to be the difference maker. A point shot from Dan Boyle would deflect off Couture’s body, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the game. Minutes later one of the biggest blown calls of the post season occurred, A point shot that Niemi couldn’t handle began trickling through his legs. With the puck clear in the open behind the goalie, the whistle is blown by the behind the net ref heartbeats before the puck could be tucked away across the crease. Bad call by the ref, and this game stays at 2-0.
With 10 minutes remaining in the third, the Kings get a little redemption as Mike Richards is able to sit on the door step and jam home a rebound. The game is 2-1, but that sting of that no goal looks like it is still hurting the Kings. Despite the late game surge, the Kings weren’t able to get back into this game, and the series evens up at 2 and takes on a whole new life.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Logan Couture
2 – Antti Niemi
3 – Joe Thornton