Western Semi Final, Game 2: Kings Win 4-3, LA leads series 2-0
LOS ANGELES – After jumping out 2-0 in Game 2, it looked as though the Los Angeles Kings had picked up right where they left off. But just when it seemed that way, the San Jose Sharks began showing signs of life scoring three unanswered goals ultimately entering the final minutes of regulations in prime position to tie the series. And then…
The Staples Faithful didn’t have to wait long for their team to get started as Jeff Carter wristed his fourth of the postseason 3:06 into the game to give Los Angeles the 1-0 lead.
If Kings fans were worried about anything entering Game 2, it was how their team would fare without Jarret Stoll, who was injured in Game 1 after a hit from San Jose’s Raffi Torres – who has since been suspended for the remainder of the series. So, with Stoll out, the Kings reinserted Brad Richardson who hasn’t played since Game 1 of the St. Louisseries. If fans were worried about Richardson having any rust, they soon realized they had no reason to.
With Los Angeles on the power play early in the second, it was Richardson who set up Drew Doughty who slapped it past Antti Niemi to put the home team up by a pair.
Just before the halfway mark of the middle frame approach, the Sharks were finally able to solve Jonathan Quick as Patrick Marleau tipped in a Joe Thornton shot to cut the lead in half. But San Jose wasn’t done there as just under five minutes later, it was a former King (Brad Stuart) who slapped his first of the playoffs past Quick to tie the game.
In the third, the Sharks continued pressing and at the 8:56, defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic notched his first of the postseason to put the road team out in front for the first time this series.
It seemed as though the Sharks had found their groove and were on their way to winning. Unfortunately for them, a lack of discipline cost them late.
On a 5-on-3 power play late, the Kings had a golden opportunity to tie – and they took advantage as Dustin Brown backhanded his second of the playoffs behind Niemi to tie the game. This game appeared to be heading into overtime.
But as exciting as playoff hockey is, the Kings weren’t content on waiting until then. While they scored on the man-advantage, the Kings still had a 5-on-4 with Vlasic in the box for shooting the puck over the glass.
Just 22 seconds after Brown tied it up, Trevor Lewis added to the fun as he notched his first of the playoffs to put the Kings out in front for good sending Staples Center into a frenzy. It’s also worth noting that on the goal, Lewis was set up by rookie Tyler Toffoli who notched his first-career playoff point on the goal.
With the win, Jonathan Quick earned his 26th career postseason win which ties him with Kelly Hrudey for the all-time franchise lead. While he did allow a playoff-high three goals, Quick was again reliable making 28 saves en route to the victory.
After being outshot in the first two periods, the Kings came alive in the third outshooting the Sharks 18-7 and while they had to be patient, their heroics paid off as the silver-and-black emphasized the “advantage” in home-ice (and on this night, man-) advantage and now head to San Jose looking to take complete control of this series.
So, after falling in their first two games of the postseason, the Los Angeles Kings have now reeled off six-straight wins heading into the HP Pavilion for Game 3 on Saturday night.