With the threat of elimination looming, this was a game in which San Jose needed to pull out a victory. Luckily in this series, playing on home ice has been a real, visible benefit. The home team has won every game in the series so far, and the way San Jose played, that kept up for this game as well.
There are things you never want to do in hockey. Give the other team a 5-3 advantage is one of them. Give it to them in the playoffs and we’re talking a whole new story entirely. An early 5-3 for the Sharks has Joe Pavelski finding Joe Thornton and giving San Jose are early 1-0 lead, giving the crowd exactly what they paid to see. Despite only making 9 saves in the first period Antti Niemi had to be rock solid. Aside from some posts, the shots getting by were threat, including an incredibly out of the blue Spin-o-Rama from Anze Kopitar.
Unfortunately for Jonathan Quick, Kopitar hadn’t warmed up with him. Early in the second period TJ Galiardi pulled a dangle shot between a defender’s legs and sniped it passed Quick. The sharks would take a 2-0 lead in the game despite the play being very even. A few chances here and there are making this game swing for the Sharks. Another you never want to do in the playoffs is give a team a 4 minute powerplay. Luckily for the Kings, Quick bailed them out of fault number 2.
13 minutes into the second Dustin Brown would throw the puck at the net, from the behind the goal line. A bad angle shot with what would typically be an extremely low percentage of success banks off Niemi and all the sudden the Kings have some life in them.
The third period was all San Jose pressure. With Quick holding the fort as tight as possible, the Kings just could not mount a successful counter to the San Jose pressure, and this series was going to game 7.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Joe Thornton
2 – Antti Niemi
3 – Joe Pavelski