After a rough visit to Los Angeles, the San Jose Sharks have roared back against the Kings in the Western Conference semifinals, posting a 2-1 victory on Tuesday to even the series.
The Sharks took control six minutes into the game when Brent Burns scored on a 15-foot slap shot off assists from Joe Thornton and T.J. Galiardi.
The Sharks tweeted:
San Jose Sharks @SanJoseSharks
#SJSharks GOAL! The captain to @Burnzie88 who puts the Sharks up 1-0 in the 1st!2013-5-22 02:26:02
At the 13:19 mark, the Kings' Colin Fraser was whistled for hooking Patrick Marleau. But the Sharks were only able to get off one shot on goal during the ensuing power play, as numerous attempts were blocked by Los Angeles.
At the 15:26 mark, San Jose received another power play after Drew Doughty got two minutes for slashing Marc-Edouard Vlasic. But despite three shots on goal for the Sharks (including an eight-footer by Galiardi), the Kings emerged unscathed.
The Kings rarely threatened in the first 20 minutes, only getting off three shots on goal and finding themselves in a 1-0 deficit. On the flip side, the Sharks got off 15 shots on goal to really test Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick's reflexes. The Sharks also won 17 of 22 faceoffs in the period.
Dan Moriarty @dwmoriarty
Glad that periods over! More like that, and defense of the @Cup will not last much longer. #LA Kings #NHL #Keep the Cup2013-5-22 02:59:07
That turned out to be quite clairvoyant. At the 3:14 mark in the second period, Fraser was once again whistled. This time, he got two minutes for roughing Andrew Desjardins.
The Sharks made sure to capitalize on their third power play of the game, as Dan Boyle's 54-foot slap shot at the 3:55 mark was deflected into the net by Logan Couture. Boyle and Joe Pavelski got the assists.
Mark Purdy @MercPurdy
Logan Couture has now been awarded the Sharks' second goal because he tipped Boyle's shot. Also because Couture is really good, so why not?2013-5-22 03:27:44
Los Angeles was awarded its first power play of the game at the 8:33 mark when Galiardi was whistled for interference. But despite receiving an opening, the Kings only managed one shot on the man advantage.
At the 16:58 mark, the Sharks' Scott Hannan was whistled for interference, setting up another man advantage for the Kings. But again, the Kings weren't able to capitalize, getting off just two shots (zero on goal).
The second period ended with San Jose leading, 2-0. David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News tweeted:
Both teams battled back and forth before the Kings' Matt Greene was given two minutes for high-sticking Couture at the 5:18 mark. On the power play, the Sharks were unable to score, only getting off one shot that was blocked.
Burns displayed poor judgment at the 8:14 mark, boarding Anze Kopitar with the Sharks trying to close out the game.
It proved to be costly, as Los Angeles finally executed on the man advantage. Mike Richards swung home a five-foot wrist shot on assists from Jeff Carter and Kopitar, and at the 9:46 mark in the third, the Kings were trailing 2-1. The Sharks tweeted:
San Jose Sharks @SanJoseSharks
Niemi makes a sprawling save, but can't corral the bouncing puck and #SJSharks lead is cut to 2-1 w/ 10:14 to play.2013-5-22 04:23:34
The LA Kings Ice Crew was noticeably happy:
LA Kings Ice Crew @LAKingsIceCrew
YES!!!!!!!!!!! Kings Goal! #believe2013-5-22 04:23:32
But, despite a few scoring opportunities for the Kings down the stretch, they ultimately weren't able to tie up the game.
Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi saved all but one of Los Angeles' 23 shots on goal. Quick was also outstanding (21-of-23), but was saddled with the loss.
The Sharks have squared up the series at two games apiece. Game 5 will be played on Thursday at Staples Center.