Game 43: Kings Lose 3-2(SO), fall to 24-14-5
SAN JOSE – If you missed this game, you sure missed a shootout at the HP Pavilion as the Los Angeles Kings pelted San Jose with 43 shots while the Sharksanswered with 35 shots in what turned out to be a 3-2 shootout win in favour of the home team.
After a scoreless first period, both teams started lighting the lamp in the second as it was the Sharks jumping out to a 2-0 lead. At 8:48 of the second, defenseman Brent Burns scored his eight followed by TJ Galliardi who potted his fourth just 42 seconds later. It seemed as if San Jose was well on their way to taking complete control of the game – but not so fast.
On the power play, the Kings were looking to get back into the game and at the 13:59 of the middle frame, Jake Muzzin slapped a point shot through Antti Niemi for his seventh to cut the lead in half. The score remained that until late in the period when Dustin Brown delivered a slapper of his own as his 16th tied the game.
After a scoreless third period, the game went into overtime and then ultimately the shootout. In the extra frame, neither side could muster a goal until San Jose’s third shooter, Raffi Torres, was able to capitalize by putting it past Jonathan Quick. With that, Mike Richards had to score to extend the game but Antti Niemi made the save to preserve the win.
With San Jose’s win, they are now tied with Kings for fourth-place in the West with 53 points apiece. Both clubs also have five games remaining and are set to meet in Los Angeles on the final day of the regular season.
While Antti Niemi played great stopping 41 saves, Jonathan Quick‘s performance certainly can’t go unnoticed as he stopped 33 of 35 shots and in fairness, deserves a lot of credit for being as resilient as he was. When allowing two goals in less than a minute, the wheels off any goalie’s game has every reason to fall right off. Quick proved that he is not of those netminders and kudos to him for sticking with it and at least giving his team the regulation point.
The Sharks now lead the season series with the Kings 2-1-0 and it all comes down to their final meeting on April 27 to determine who finishes where. It should make for one exciting finish.