May 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Justin Braun (61) battle for the puck during game two of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Sharks 4-3 to take a 2-0 series lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings Reeling, But Far From Done

April 20, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) scores a goal against Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) and defenseman Robyn Regehr (44) during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks defeated the Kings 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks have now out scored the Los Angeles Kings 13 to 5 in the series. Despite the fact that the Sharks have more than doubled the number of Kings goals, this series is far from over.

“We learned our lesson dearly last game and we need to play our style of hockey,” Kings’ defenseman Willie Mitchell told Fox Sports. “We played a real loose hockey game where we weren’t connected as a group. You can just feel it around here, guys are in a better place and ready to go and you’ll probably see, well I know you’ll see a much, much better effort from our hockey club.”

The Kings will have an advantage in this leg of the series as they head back home to LA. That should be a good place for the best puck possession team in the regular season to regroup and regain some footing. The Sharks shouldn’t expect to score another blow out game once King Quick is back on his throne in LA, with his defense playing cohesively again.

“He’s probably the best goalie in the league, so to do that two games in a row, it’s an oddity,” Joe Thornton told TSN. “We’ve been working hard for our goals and the fourth line got this game back in our grip for us, but scoring seven … just a weird night.”

Fourth-line grinders Mike Brown and Raffi Torres both scored second-period goals Sunday night for the Sharks, effectively nixing the Kings early two-goal lead. San Jose kept it going from there, scoring five more goals to take the 2-0 series lead.

“They got us going and everybody followed,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan told TSN. “You need that to have success. Success has only been two games. We’ve got a lot left. But you need to have everybody stirring the drink if you will.”

Yes, having your fourth line bruisers score is nice, *obligatory depth comment* but at the end of the day fourth line goals are a bonus. They are nice when they come, but don’t expect them. Without those grinder-goals on Sunday the game may have turned out very different.

Despite the disappointing start, the Kings have a very good chance of evening this series at home, and the Sharks may find themselves wishing they had saved some of these blowout goals for later in the series.


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Tags: Joe Thornton Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings Willie Mitchell

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