Apr 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) is congratulated by right wing Marian Gaborik (12), defenseman Slava Voynov (26), and defenseman Robyn Regehr (44) after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings Force Game 6 With Shutout Of San Jose

Holy reversal of fortune, Batman! The Los Angeles Kings have now made it a proper series with the San Jose Sharks as they win Game 5 in convincing fashion, 3-0 in San Jose.  The Kings and Sharks have had a strangle hold on home victories, but so far in this series, both teams have been able to win on the road. That is why Game 6 in Los Angeles will be very interesting.

The Kings got off to a quick start in the first period. They were killer on the forecheck, killer in their attacks and basically beat the Sharks into submission. LA finished the period with the advantage in shots as they managed 18 to San Jose’s 6.

Tyler Toffoli got the game winning goal eight minutes in. It was his second GWG in two consecutive games. Toffoli receive a pass from fellow rookie Tanner Pearson who tracked down a puck in the Kings offensive zone and sent it cross-ice to Toffoli who received the puck in front of a Sharks defender and executed a subtle pull and drag, which gave him enough room fire it under San Jose goalie Antti Niemi.

In the last game, head coach Darryl Sutter made a few line changes that he kept in this game. The top line had Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar (and Marian Gaborik) working together again.

Nearly thirteen minutes in, LA had a 3-on-2 attack with their first line. Brown had the puck coming down the right side of the ice with plenty of room between him and the defender. He shot it in on Niemi and the rebound went perfectly to a well placed Kopitar who tipped in into an open net. The Kings were up 2 dominating goals to 0.

It was almost unreal how vacant San Jose was in this game. There was no urgency, they made uncharacteristic penalties and Niemi was utterly horrible. He was pulled 22 seconds into the second period after the Kings made it 3-0.

The Los Angeles Kings came out in attack mode as they had started the second period with 1:28 remaining in a power play from a Justin Braun penalty. Gabroik took the puck into the attacking zone and fed it to Jeff Carter who was heading to the left side of the net. As he tried to avoid defensive contact, he spun around but not without back-handing the puck into the front of the net. The puck bounced off the skate of Brad Stewart and that was it. San Jose had nothing else to give in the game and subsequently gave up the game.

Jonathan Quick had finished with 30 saves in an impressive shut out in the Shark Tank. This crucial win keeps the Kings alive and looking for continued success as the series shifts back to Staples Center for Game 6 on Monday.

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

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