NHL Playoffs 2013: San Jose Sharks Beat Los Angeles Kings 2-1 to Force Game 7

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IMay 27, 2013

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 26:  Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks makes a save on a shot taken by Mike Richards #10 of the Los Angeles Kings during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 26, 2013 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 in Game 6 Sunday evening, meaning there will be at least one Game 7 in the second round of the 2013 NHL playoffs.

The home team has now won all six games of the series, which has been a defensive battle from the start. Jonathan Quick and Antti Niemi have both been dominant, as the two teams have combined for just 21 goals.

The Kings put themselves in a bad position early in the first period of Game 6 by taking three consecutive penalties.

Kyle Clifford, who was recently promoted to the top line, was called for charging after he hit Patrick Marleau from behind. The Kings killed that off, but minutes later Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar took back-to-back penalties which would prove costly.

On the ensuing 5-on-3 power play Joe Pavelski made a nice pass through the slot to Joe Thornton, who hit the open net to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

The Kings bounced back and had a number of chances, hitting the post three times before the end of the period.

TJ Galiardi scored his first career playoff goal early in the second to put San Jose up 2-0. A key moment in the game came shortly after, when Justin Williams was assessed a four-minute penalty for high-sticking.

The Kings were aggressive on the penalty kill, constantly putting pressure on the puck carrier, killing off the penalty and seemingly grabbing the momentum.

L.A. captain Dustin Brown then cut the lead in half, scoring from an awkward angle by banking the puck off of Niemi.

That was it for the Kings' offense however, as they came up empty in the third. The Sharks came out strong at the start of the period and Niemi did the rest, finishing with 24 saves on the night.

It was the third time in the series and sixth time in the postseason that the Kings have managed to score just a single goal in a game.

They significantly outhit the Sharks again, but were unable to establish a good forecheck or generate solid scoring chances. It didn't help that they lost nearly 60 percent of the faceoffs in the game either.

With the win the Sharks improved to 2-8 all-time in Game 6 when trailing 3-2 in a series. Meanwhile, Los Angeles will prepare for its first Game 7 since being eliminated by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2002 playoffs.

Puck drop for Game 7 is set for 9:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.


Stats courtesy of NHL.com.