Revisiting The LA Kings Journey To The Stanley Cup: First round – San Jose Sharks


Apr 30, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman

Drew Doughty

(8) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period in game seven of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It is almost that time of year… hockey time! But before we get into what will happen with the Los Angeles Kings, let us revisit where the Kings left off. You know, as Stanley Cup Champions. It was another epic run, but this was not as easy as the Cup run in 2012. h my no, this was much tougher and it started with the San Jose Sharks.

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After a devastating Conference Finals exit the year before at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, the Kings (and their fans) wanted more of that sweet candy that comes in the shape of the Stanley Cup. The 2014-15 season started horribly, but then got really good. There were highs and lows, for example, Jonathan Quick at Buffalo and needed several weeks off. His eventual back-up Martin Jones had a record eight-game win streak to start his NHL career. Several Kings went to the Olympics which left the Canadians happy, the Americans distraught the Russians pissed and the Slovenians happy because they got their first ever Olympic win. They can thank Anze Kopitar for that.

At the end of the regular season, the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks were battling for the top spot in the Pacific Division as the Kings took a few extra days to stroll in themselves. Still, it was a post-season many could not wait for as the new playoff alignment gave division rivals a better chance to meet in the playoffs. And with that, we begin…

Round 1 Vs San Jose Sharks

Game 1, April 17

Kings 3 at Sharks 6 – Sharks lead series 1-0

The road back to capturing the Stanley Cup took a long and winding route. Okay, who are we kidding, the Kings got smacked in Game 1. The Sharks were playing off their regular season momentum and wanted to silence a team that already has 1 Stanley Cup to their 0. San Jose was relentless and managed to put 5 goals in the net in the first two periods. Quick was then replaced by the rookie Jones. LA could not do anything to beat Antti Niemi. All the Kings could do is prepare for Game 2.

Game 2, April 20

Kings 2 at Sharks 7 – Sharks lead series 2-0

So, yeah, this game did not go as LA planned either. It started well as Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis got the Kings on the board early to go up 2-0. That did not last as San Jose rattled off 7 unanswered goals to kill whatever effort the Kings had. The collective Kings fan base thought to themselves, “what the hell just happened?” Los Angeles just got demolished, again, by the San Jose Sharks. SAN JOSE! Either way the Kings had not lost to them in Los Angeles since April 5, 2012 and the series was heading back to Staples Center.

Game 3, April 22

Sharks 4 at Kings 3 (OT) – Sharks lead series 3-0

Okay, so what the hell just happened, again? How could LA not win this? Easily, dumb luck. The thing was, LA had fought at another level from the first two games.

Anze Kopitar

had put the Kings in the lead at the start of the 3rd period and had control for the majority of the remainder of regulation, but a

Tomas Hertl

goal halfway through the period  sent the game into overtime. The Kings were solid and in control, but

Patrick Marleau

had a shot that went in off of

Robyn Regehr

‘s stick. The collective jaw of the Kings faithful had dropped. There was no way the Kings had just gone down 3 games to zero against the Sharks.

Game 4, April 24

Sharks 3 at Kings 6 – Sharks lead series 3-1

Breathe. Los Angeles survived at least one more game. At that point, that is all it was. One game. One game at a time. It helped that the Kings beat, I mean really beat the Sharks behind two goals a piece from Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams. At the time, it was a belief, but the #ReverseSweep had begun.

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  • Game 5, April 26

    Kings 3 at Sharks 0 – Sharks lead series 3-2

    Not only did the San Jose Sharks know that the Kings were for real, but they knew because LA had just beat them in their own home. They shut them out and they did it with a collective effort. The young duo of Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson had helped get the energy going early as goals by Kopitar and Jeff Carter added to the sting as LA just made this a series. LA was back in this and there was nothing San Jose could do about it. I mean at all.

    Game 6, April 28

    Sharks 1 at Kings 4 – Series ties 3-3

    Things just got real. In the first two games, the Sharks dominated the scoring and now it was the Kings turn. At this point, it turned into a psychological game and Sharks head coach Todd McLellan made things awkward. With little faith in goalie Niemi, Alex Stalock took over in net… and did not do any better. Williams had two goals, Kopitar had two goals, it was madness at Staples Center. Los Angeles was on the verge of doing the impossible, but it was not over. There was still one more game to go and LA had all the momentum.

    Game 7, April 30

    Kings 5 at Sharks 1 – Kings Win Series 4-3

    The #ReverseSweep was complete. The Kings did dug deep and grinded out, not just the game, but the entire series! Only three  teams have comeback from being down three games to win a series and now LA did too. San Jose not just been beat by LA, they had been completely wrecked, dismantled and once again made the Sharks a cup-less team. It was great, and in front of the Sharks fans as well. Talk about brutal. What hurt most, is that San Jose lead the game at 1-0. What better way to show you will not back down than by getting the all important first goal of the game.

    The problem was, LA fired off the next five goals.

    Dustin Brown


    Drew Doughty

    , Kopitar, Toffoli and Pearson all put the hurt on the Sharks with their own goals. This series comeback was great, but it needed to be short lived as the next round was a few days away and it was against an opponent LA had never met in the playoffs… The Anaheim Ducks.