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Unbelievable
Sharks overcome 4-0 deficit to stun Kings in Game 3
4/19/11 - By Mike Lee -

Should the Sharks go on to bigger and better things this spring, they'll have to look back to Tuesday night in Los Angeles and know this may have been the turning point for the franchise. Down 4-0 in the 2nd period, the Sharks stunned a sold out Staples Center to comeback and win 6-5 in overtime. Devin Setoguchi scored the biggest goal of his career 3:09 into overtime to bring the Sharks back from the dead. San Jose regained home ice advantage by taking Game 3 in improbable fashion.

Setoguchi took a cross-ice feed from Patrick Marleau near the right dot and snapped his first goal of the playoffs past Jonathan Quick after his team rallied with a 5 goal outburst in the 2nd period.

The Kings will remember this as the one that got away. Holding a commanding lead on home ice with all the momentum on their side, Los Angeles turned in what may have been one of the biggest collapses in NHL Playoff history.

Disaster, best sums up the Sharks start. They allowed Los Angeles to score 2:23 into the game on a fairly routine shot from the left wing boards. Defenseman Willie Mitchell carried the puck across the Sharks blueline before sending in a shot that Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi tried to glove, but it deflected off his mitt and into the San Jose goal.

Los Angeles would convert before the Staples Center announcer had a chance to announce Mitchell's goal. Kyle Clifford scored his 2nd of the series, chipping a shot over Niemi after Brad Richardson sent in a centering pass from the right corner. Dan Boyle, Logan Couture, and Douglas Murray were all guilty of chasing the puck, which allowed the Kings to pass to spots and get the puck deflected to the net.

Niclas Wallin added to the Sharks misery by opening up a cut on Michal Handzus' face with a high stick. Luckily for San Jose the King's regular season power play unit showed up and failed to convert on the gift.

Dany Heatley drew a hooking penalty on Mitchell after trying to split two defenders in the slot. San Jose's inept power play extended their goalless streak to eight man-advantage chances in the series after they failed to convert on the Mitchell penalty.

San Jose shot themselves in the foot late in the period by coughing up the puck just outside their own blueline. Dustin Penner scooped up the turnover and skated into the San Jose zone before sliding a pass to a trailing Handzus. The Kings winger received the pass and whipped a shot past a sliding Niemi for the 3-0 lead.

The only thing the Kings couldn't get right was operating the game clock, which failed to start on the ensuing faceoff. Play resumed for about 30 seconds before it restarted the countdown to the 1st intermission. Referee Eric Furlatt consulted with the timekeeper on a stoppage and mercifully called an end to the period with 8.5 seconds still showing on the jumbo-tron. It was 18 minutes to late for the Sharks.

The Kings made sure the clock wouldn't interfere with their parade to the San Jose goal. Richardson scored the 4th goal of the game 44 seconds into the 2nd period after the Sharks coughed up another puck in their own end. Ian White tried to chip the puck up the left wing boards, but Richardson used some nifty stick work to knock it down and gain control. The Kings looped back toward the slot and roofed his 1st goal of the playoffs.

The goal would end Niemi's night. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan pulled his netminder and inserted Antero Niittymaki who made one appearance since January.

Patrick Marleau finally made an appearance, scoring the Sharks first goal in four plus periods. Boyle circled toward the slot with the puck and saw Marleau parked just off the right post. He faked a shot and instead, sent a pass to the former Sharks captain for the redirect.

Dustin Penner was sent off for roughing at 5:10 and the Sharks would finally snap out of their special teams doldrums. Ryane Clowe scored his 1st of the playoffs with a little luck. His passing attempt to Couture from the right side was deflected by Mitchell, redirecting between Jonathan Quick's pads to cut the Kings lead to 4-2.

Setoguchi would negate a Sharks power play at 12:32 of the period when he was called for holding after allowing Dustin Penner to out work him to a puck. The Sharks would use the open ice to make things interesting.

White setup his 2nd goal of the series by sending a cross-ice pass to Couture, who snapped home his 2nd of the playoffs at 13:32.

All the momentum built off the Couture goal would get flushed on the next drop of the puck. Jarret Stoll raced up the left wing then found Ryan Smyth unattended on the right post for the deflection past Niittymaki. San Jose just flat out fell asleep on the play, allowing Smyth to position himself so close to the goal without a defender within 15 feet of him.

Couture just missed redirecting a puck into the net with 2 minutes to play in the period, but the momentum began to shift in San Jose's favor.

Clowe scored his 2nd of the period with 85 seconds left in the period, slamming home a shot from the left side.

The Sharks capped the improbable comeback 54 seconds later, when Pavelski lifted a shot over Quick from the top of the crease. Ian White flipped a puck into the slot, dropping the puck right between Pavelski's skates. The Sharks centerman was skating away from White, toward the right corner, so it was incredible that Pavelski even picked the puck up.

The 3rd period was the antithesis of the previous frame. With the game tied, neither team wanted to give up another, so each club clamped down defensively. The shot counts would drop to a handful, but San Jose had he advantage in scoring chances in the period.

Pavelski was late to a puck that fluttered in the Kings zone after Kyle Wellwood worked it into the crease from behind the Kings net. Torrey Mitchell followed that chance by missing on a feed from the side boards as he busted down the slot four minutes later.

For those fans settling in for along overtime period, they would be as disappointed as Quick who laid face down on the ice three minutes in after Setoguchi bagged the game winner.



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Scoring
1 2 3 1OT T
SJ 0 5 0 1 6
LA 3 2 0 0 5
1st period - 1, LA, Mitchell 1 (Lewis, Westgarth), 2:23. 2, LA, Clifford 2 (Richardson, Simmonds), 2:39. 3, LA, Handzus 1 (Penner), 18:22.
2nd period - 4, LA, Richardson (unassisted), 0:44. 5, SJ, Marleau 1 (Boyle, Thornton), 3:08. 6, SJ, Clowe 1 (Couture), 6:53, (pp). 7, SJ, Couture 2 (White, Wallin), 13:32. 8, LA, Smyth 1 (Stoll, Johnson), 13:47. 9, SJ, Clowe 2 (Boyle, Heatley), 18:35. 10, SJ, Pavelski 2 (White, Mitchell), 19:29.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - 11, SJ, Setoguchi 1 (Marleau, Wallin), 3:09.
Penalties
1st period - Wallin, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 4:46; Mitchell, LA (hooking), 13:14.
2nd period - Penner, LA (roughing), 5:10; Demers, SJ (hooking), 9:35; Greene, LA (interference), 12:08; Setoguchi, SJ (holding), 12:32.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 10 6
SJ - Niittymaki 12 11
LA - Quick 36 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 7 18 9 2 36
LA 9 8 5 0 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
LA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Devin Setoguchi
Brad Richardson
Dan Boyle
Attendence
18,216
Officials
Referees: Furlatt, McCauley. Linesmen: Sharrers, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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