The Los Angeles Kings did the impossible. They came back from being three games down to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1 to win the series in four straight games to complete the #ReverseSweep and win the first round Stanley Cup Playoff series. It was a Game 7 that started strong for both teams, but as we all know, the Kings are built for the playoffs.
Let us start in the first period where there was not a lot of action in net as it was 0-0 going into the 1st intermission. It does not mean nothing happened or the period was boring, oh my no. Both teams were aggressive from the first face-off, both goaltenders were getting some great saves and as it has been all series long, it was a very physical game.
The Sharks were leading in shots (14-9) and hits (20-14) while the Kings dominated on face-offs (15-5). It was a brutal affair, a perfect game 7, but it did not mire in goalless mediocrity.
It did not take long for the Sharks to get things going in the second period as Matt Irwin took a shot from near the blue line off of a screen that blinded Jonathan Quick. Just like that, the Sharks were up, 1-0.
The Kings got back in it when the Sharks were called for a pair of penalties that gave LA a 2-man advantage for six seconds. That was enough to help to get the next goal going. The Kings did not waste anytime attacking on the ensuing power play. Drew Doughty got the puck off a rebound in the left circle and got a good look at the top right corner to tie it at one goal a piece. It was Doughty’s first goal of the season.
With a minute-twenty left in the period, the Kings were able to break out from a goalless stalemate, when an on-rushing when Justin Williams sent a pass from the right wing corner to Anze Kopitar who came down the slot. Kopitar had a sweet deke to finish, which threw Niemi off of his axis and was able to put it in with the back hand. The Kings were up 2-1 going in the second intermission.
LA extended their cushion when a couple of rookies got in on the Shark smash. Just over five minutes into the game, Tanner Pearson took the puck in around the left offensive corner on a rush. He pulled back and found Tyler Toffoli who went into the middle and scored on Antti Niemi, who had no chance to stop it. The ‘Manchester Connection’ of Pearson-Toffoli struck again and put the Kings up 3-1.
It was quiet in San Jose.
San Jose tried, but they could not get close. They pulled Niemi with more than two minutes left, but as the risk goes, they gave up an empty goal to Dustin Brown when he chased down the puck from Kopitar and had no problem (or no one to get on his way) scoring to put the game out of reach.Apr 30, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) scores an empty net goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in game seven of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. The Kings defeated the Sharks 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
And that was not it.
Pearson scored another empty netter as San Jose was making a drastic push for some late offense. It was not over, but it was over with 48 seconds left in the game. The Kings went up 5-1 and that is how it ended.
The Kings did the impossible. After being down 0-3 in the series, they suppressed the Sharks in the remainder of the series to pull off the reverse sweep. Bloody brilliant. They are the 4th team in NHL history to win a series after trailing 0-3.
You have to give it to the Sharks for giving LA a hell of a series for the first three games, but as we have seen over and over again, the Los Angeles Kings are built for the playoffs.
And now comes the series everyone in Southern California has been waiting for since Emilio Estevez embarrassed himself in a horrible excuse for a Disney movie… it is time for the Los Angeles Kings to do battle with the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.