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Kings exploit Sharks biggest weakness
Series tied 1-1 after Kings shutout toothless Sharks
4/16/11 - By Mike Lee -

So much for home ice advantage. So much for avenging Ian White. So much for Jarret Stoll's suspension. The Sharks flat out missed the bus to their Game 2 match up with the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. The Kings took advantage of a flurry of dumb Shark penalties and exploited San Jose's penalty kill en route to a 4-0 white washing at HP Pavilion. Drew Doughty tied a Kings playoff record by recording 4 points in the game.

Doughty scored a pair of goals and added 2 assists to single handedly knock off the Sharks. The defense accounted for 3 of the 4 Kings goals, and 5 of the 8 assists. Conversely the Sharks failure to mount much of a fight can be attributed to everyone up and down the lineup. Ten Shark players were a combined -10 +/-, and goaltender Antti Niemi could only stop 19 of 23 shots.

The Sharks need to figure out how to rebound from what may have arguably been one of their worst playoff performances in team history. Jonathan Quick stopped all 34 shots, many of the long-range, unscreened variety, to earn his first career playoff shutout.

The series is now a best of five affair, but the Sharks will need to figure out what hit them first. Los Angeles finished the evening 2-of-6 on the power play, San Jose a distant 0-for-5.

The Sharks opened the game with plenty of jump in their step, but the first two Sharks penalties of the game essentially decided things.

Dany Heatley just missed scoring the opening goal for the second time in as many nights after a Niclas Wallin shot kicked out to the front of the net. Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell prevented another disastrous start for Los Angeles by clearing the puck as Heatley tried hacking at it.

The Kings would be first to make a trip to the penalty box, sending Kyle Clifford to the sin bin for rouging at 8:32. Heatley came closest to converting by deflecting a Jason Demers shot that just missed tucking under the crossbar.

Ben Eager followed the Clifford infraction with a slashing penalty of his own after taking exception to a check by Jack Johnson. The Sharks penalty kill would come up short, when Johnson fired a shot past Antti Niemi from the left point. The Sharks goaltender was screened on the play, which allowed the low shot to slip inside the left post at 12:13 of the period.

Ryane Clowe didn't get the memo regarding the Sharks penalty killing issues and decided to exact a little revenge by throwing an elbow at Drew Doughty a minute after the Johnson goal. That earned him a trip to the box and put the Sharks in another short-handed hole.

Los Angeles would take advantage of the San Jose special teams by scoring another goal at 15:43, when Doughty fired home a shot from the high slot. Sharks captain Joe Thornton helped the cause by deciding to hold on to a puck at his own blueline, rather than clear it. The Kings stripped the centerman and worked the puck in the Sharks zone before Doughty converted his first of the playoffs.

Clowe's decision making got even more suspect when he laid out Doughty with a cross check in front of the Sharks net. The Sharks would kill off the penalty, but it prevented the Sharks from mounting any sort of offensive pressure.

It was more of the same to lead off the 2nd period. The Sharks were scrambling in their own end when Jason Demers sent a backhanded clearing attempt over the glass for the Sharks fourth consecutive penalty. San Jose killed off the penalty, but they were never able to establish any rhythm.

Rob Scaderi narrowly missed making it a 3-0 game 7 minutes into the period when his shot clanked off the right post.

Al Martinez was sent off for hooking at 8:30 of the period, giving the Sharks their second power play of the game. San Jose's power play unit was as effective as the penalty kill, wasting the opportunity with two minutes of perimeter passing that got the puck nowhere near Quick.

Los Angeles would kill the Martinez penalty and immediately push the puck up ice, where Wallin was forced to take a slashing penalty in order to prevent another goal. San Jose would get a short-handed chance after Johnson's stick broke at the point. The ensuing rush by San Jose would draw a tripping penalty on Dustin Brown to even things up.

Doughty made it 3-0 with a blast that slipped between Niemi's pads at 15:42. The Kings defenseman drew the puck along the blueline before ripping a shot through traffic. Niemi picked up the shot too late, failing to get his pads squeezed in time to stop the 60 footer.

The Sharks were given a chance to try and scratch back into the game at the start of the 3rd period, when Kings forward Dustin Penner was sent off for roughing. The power play fizzled once again, denying any chance for a comeback.

The wheels completely came off two minutes later when Clifford bagged a goal from the Sharks doorstep. Thornton fell asleep while parked at the top of the crease, allowing a Brad Richardson pass to slip past him as he lost track of Clifford.

The series now shifts to Southern California, where the Kings have assumed home-ice advantage after splitting the first two games in San Jose. The Sharks will have three days to figure out what went wrong and patch up the gaping holes that allowed Doughty and company to run roughshod on HP Pavilion ice.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
LA 2 1 1 4
SJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - 1, LA, Johnson 1 (Doughty), 12:13, (pp). 2, LA, Doughty 1 (Smyth, Johnson), 15:43, (pp).
2nd period - 3, LA, Doughty 2 (Clifford, Scuderi), 15:42.
3rd period - 4, LA, Clifford 1 (Richardson, Doughty), 4:54.
Penalties
1st period - Clifford, LA (roughing), 8:32; Eager, SJ (slashing), 11:26; Clowe, SJ (elbowing), 13:50; Clowe, SJ (cross checking), 17:54.
2nd period - Demers, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 3:39; Martinez, LA (hooking), 8:30; Wallin, SJ (slashing), 11:53; Brown, LA (tripping), 12:28.
3rd period - Penner, LA (roughing), 1:00; Lewis, LA (delay of game - puck over glass), 8:30; Murray, SJ (charging), 19:34; Simmonds, LA (10 min misconduct), 19:52; Mayers, SJ (10 min misconduct), 19:52.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 34 34
SJ - Niemi 23 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 10 6 7 23
SJ 15 8 11 34
Power Play Conversion
LA 2 of 6
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Drew Doughty
Jonathan Quick
Jack Johnson
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Pollock, Lee. Linesmen: Sericolo, Lazarowich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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