The Los Angeles Kings had an epic meltdown as the league’s best defensive team allowed seven goals against the San Jose Sharks in a 7-2 loss which has them going down two games to zero in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Kings got the start they wanted as they scored 1 minute 51 seconds into the game. Drew Doughty received the puck from out in front of traffic and sent it over to an unmanned Jake Muzzin who dragged and fired the puck from the top of the right circle past Shark’s Antti Niemi.
Jonathan Quick was exceptional in the first period, batting away 15 shots and making some incredible saves. He once again put on a clinic and made some outstanding saves as the Sharks got some fierce shots off of their own.
Unfortunately for them, the Kings continued with pressure of their own. Their near relentless pursuit to get the puck into the front of the net saw Jeff Carter get a shot on goal that a well-placed Trevor Lewis tipped in. The Kings went up 2-0 and had some excellent momentum going their way.
Despite a no-goal period, the San Jose Sharks kept putting on the hits in the last five minutes. There were definite signs that San Jose was not going quietly. Once again, the Kings and Sharks physical game continued as they each had 18 and 17 hits, respectively.
The Sharks started the second period (and the rest of the game) in a hurry and got a goal from Mike Brown who put a one-timer past Quick. Even though the Kings matched the intensity of the Sharks, San Jose would continue to be in control.
About 11 minutes in, another brilliantly orchestrated rush into the offensive zone for the San Jose Sharks saw some crisp passes eventually make their way to Raffi Torres who lasered one past Quick. Tie game, 2-2.
The Kings had improved their forechecking in the second, but once again, San Jose went on the offensive.
The Sharks were creating good traffic in front of the net, which blinded Quick on San Jose’s third goal by Justin Braun to put up three unanswered goals in the third. Los Angeles may have had the edge in puck possession, but San Jose was firing at the net as soon they had the puck in the attacking zone.
The third period was no different for San Jose, at least to start. An errant turnover by the Kings got the Sharks on a 3-on-2 rush which was too much for Quick. Logan Couture and Matt Nieto created some good passes to an on rushing Patrick Marleau who fired another puck into goal. The Sharks lead 4-2.
A few minutes later, the Sharks scored on another rush, this time, it was a 3-on-0, all of who were on the left side of Quick, making it very difficult for him to defend. Joe Pavelski was the shark with the heartbreaking goal.
And it was not over. The bleeding got worse. Jonathan Quick allowed a sixth and seventh goal in this game. By who and how was irrelevant at this point, the Kings fell apart and the Sharks jumped them. Sharks win 7-2.
By the way, the last goal was on a 5-on-3 advantage for San Jose, which was caused by Kings penalties that were purely frustration-based. It was that kind of game.
In last year’s playoff series against San Jose, Quick only allowed 10 goals in 7 games. This was his 12th goal allowed in the first two games of this first round series.
Where the Kings’ defense went, no one knows. There was something to build off of coming away from Game 1. What comes from Game 2 is that the Los Angeles Kings need to get their game in order going back to LA or they are en route to their earliest playoff exit in three years.
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Tags: Los Angeles Kings