Coming into this series both the Sharks and the Kings knew that they had a tough series ahead of them. Both squads also knew that it would be tough playing on the road. Both the Kings and the Sharks had outstanding home records during the regular season, and so far this round things have not changed. The Sharks and Kings have both won two games this series, and you guessed it, the home team has won their two games.
Game one in LA was between a rested Sharks team, and a not as well rested Kings team. The Kings came out on top, getting two goals and not letting any in past their goalie Jonathan Quick. The Sharks looked flat the entire game, and did not have many threatening chances. Their defense also was not as sharp as usual, turning pucks over and playing sloppy hockey in general.
Game two was a game that Sharks fans will remember for a long time. First, Raffi Torres got a two minute charging penalty on a clean hockey hit, and was eventually suspended the rest of the series. Sharks fans were not happy with the penalty or suspension because it looked to be shoulder to shoulder contact, and GM Doug Wilson wasn’t happy as well. He was fined $100,000 for his comments. Next, Let’s skip to the third period where things got interesting. Sharks get on the penalty kill with just a few minutes left leading by one. On the PK, Marc-Edouard Vlasic cleared the puck out of the defensive zone, but the puck appeared to graze off of a King. The refs saw it differently and put the Kings on a five on three power play. The Kings managed to score twice in 22 seconds to take the lead, and Sharks fans around the country went crazy. The Sharks would have to go to HP Pavilion down two to zero.
Game three was as usual another thriller. In the third period, something very familiar happened. As the final seconds of the third elapsed the Kings found themselves on a five on three. The two penalties carried over to overtime, and Logan Couture capitalized. He scored the game winning goal and pulled the Sharks one game closer to the Kings.
Game four started off with the Sharks dominating. Joe Thornton had one of his best periods as a Shark in the first, and Brent Burns continued his scoring ways. After the Sharks jumped out to a two goal lead they started to get lazy. The final 30 minutes of the game were dominated by the Kings, but luckily the Sharks defense was able to keep the puck out of the net.
Game five was the biggest game of the season for the Sharks, and how did they respond…they didn’t. This game was a disaster for the Sharks. They were not getting many chances, and when they had a decent chance, Jonathan Quick stepped up to stop it. Antti Niemi was the only Sharks who showed up to play, keeping his team in the game for 60 minutes. The Kings went on to win this game three to zero, one of the goals being an empty net goal.
The Sharks have their work cut out for them if they want to advance. Game Six will be on May 26th, at 5 PT.