The Los Angeles Kings did what only 3 other teams have ever accomplished before – come back from down 0-3 in an NHL playoff series by winning game 7 against the San Jose Sharks.
The Los Angeles Kings scored 5 unanswered goals after Matt Irwin had put the Sharks on the board early in the second to record the historic win. For the Sharks, it is a brand new low in a decade of playoff failures as the “choke” label will be thrown around a lot in the next few days.
For the Los Angeles Kings, seemingly down and out after straying away from their style of hockey for the first 3 games, the four game winning streak will give them confidence and momentum heading into their second round series with the Ducks. The Kings gave up 17 goals in the first 3 games, while giving up just 5 in the last 4 matches.
Jonathan Quick was sensational in wrapping up the series, facing 40 Sharks shots and turning away all but 1.
The Kings offense got into gear with Drew Doughty‘s power play goal before the 5 minute mark of the second. Anze Kopitar gave the Kings the lead just before the final minute of the period, and Tyler Toffoli put them up 2 early in the third. The Sharks pulled Antti Niemi with 2:43 left in the game and the Kings proceeded to score twice in the empty net and cruise to a 5-1 win.
Niemi was back in goal after being yanked in games 4 and 5 before being sat for game 6 in favor of Alex Stalock. There will be lots of internal and external questions for the Sharks and their management as yet another promising season ends far too soon.
The Anaheim Ducks await a visit from the Los Angeles Kings, in a second round series that begins on Saturday.