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Sharks remind Kings of last spring
SJ overcomes 3-1 deficit to win in shootout
4/5/12 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks made the playoffs for the 9th consecutive season on Thursday night courtesy of losses by the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche, but the real fun didn't start until the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings squared off in their season ending home-and-home series. San Jose overcame a 3-1 deficit, blew a 3rd period lead, then won the game in the shootout.

The game was reminiscent of Game 3 of the Sharks playoff series against the Kings last spring, when San Jose came back from a 4-0 deficit. The win leaves the Sharks even in points with Los Angeles, but the Kings hold the tie breaker. If San Jose can win on Saturday and Phoenix loses one of their two remaining games in regulation, they will take the Pacific Division.

Suspect officiating soured most of the game, but really influenced the game in the opening period. Joe Thornton and Drew Douty dropped the gloves just seconds after Tommy Wingels and Colin Fraser were sent off for roughing. Thornton was given an extra 2 minutes for roughing even though Douty threw a series of punches with his glove on.

The Kings converted on the ensuing 4-on-3 power play when Alec Martinez deposited a rebound from the left side after Dustin Brown tried jamming a shot past Antti Niemi from the slot.

Moments later, Torrey Mitchell was blind-sided by Colin Fraser well after dishing the puck, but the Kings were not called for the interference.

Ryane Clowe and Matt Greene dropped the gloves a minute later, but the Sharks forward was assessed an additional 2 for roughing. Given the playoff implications, it was bewildering to see such ticky-tack penalties being called.

Jason Demers knotted the game at 1-1 with 3:33 left in the period when he chased down a Daniel Winnik shot that Kings netminder Jonathan Quick blocked but didn't cover. Demers crashed the net from the right corner, gained control of the loose puck and flicked it over Quick's left shoulder for his 4th goal of the season.

Kyle Clifford took the chippiness to another level by pasting Logan Couture face first into the boards with a hit from behind. The infraction would earn him a boarding major, giving the Sharks a 5-minue power play. Clifford somehow eluded a game misconduct for his transgressions.

Unfortunately, the Sharks spent too much time playing with the puck and not generating shot s on net. Los Angeles killed off the major, but then right back on the penalty kill when Douty was sent off for hooking.

The Sharks did nothing with that chance, and the script was set. San Jose obliged by taking a dumb retaliatory roughing penalty, courtesy of Daniel Winnik, then the Kings scored on the ensuing power play when Jarret Stoll punched in a loose puck from the top of the crease at 8:54 of the 2nd period. Dustin Brown followed that up with his 22nd goal of the season on an odd-man rush at 13:19.

Clowe let Clifford know what he thought about his hit on Couture by dropping the gloves with the Kings winger, and treating him like a rag doll.

Andrew Desjardins missed on a wide open net three minutes later.

Quick took an interference penalty for trying to pin Dominic Moore to his net late in the period and the Sharks finally figured out how to get a puck past the Kings netminder on the power play. Dan Boyle threw a puck to the front of the net, where Thornton was there to deflect it home.

San Jose tied it 70 seconds in to the 3rd period when a Clowe outraced the Kings defense to a puck that kicked out to the neutral zone after Los Angeles tried firing a shot on goal. Clowe grabbed the puck at the Kings blueline, then snapped a shot past Quick.

Joe Pavelski took an ill-advised tripping penalty at 3:41 of the period and Los Angeles quickly took advantage. Justin Williams pumped a shot from the top of the right circle, that Niemi should have stopped.

Rob Scuderi promptly flipped a puck over the glass to draw a delay of game penalty less than 30 seconds after Williams goal to put the Sharks back on the power play.

Patrick Marelau finally made an appearance on the road trip, scoring his 29th goal of the season on the ensuing power play. Thornton earned the secondary assist on the goal to give him the Gordie Howe hat trick.

Winnik put the Kings back on the power play 2 minutes later, but the Sharks penalty kill finally held.

The penalty see-saw tilted back toward Los Angeles, when Anze Kopitar was whistled for a trip. Martin Havlat felt obliged to get his name on the scoresheet, by snapping a shot past Quick to give the Sharks their first lead of the evening. Clowe setup the goal to give him a Gordie Howe hat trick.

San Jose couldn't leave well enough alone, so T.J. Galiardi took an elbowing penalty at 15:16, then Marleau followed that with a lazy tripping penalty 42 seconds later. The Kings easily converted on the 5-on-3 when Williams rifled a shot from 12 feet away to tie the game and record the 4th power play goal of the night for LA.

The game would go to overtime, where Brown took a penalty for holding to put the Sharks on the power play for the 6th time. They just missed ending things in the extra session when Pavelski put a shot over the crossbar right as time expired.

Pavelski was the only shooter to score in the shootout, atoning for his miss in overtime, picking the same target, high over Quick's left shoulder. Niemi stoned Kopitar with a waving glove hand, snatching a wrist shot to end it.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 1 1 3 0 1 6
LA 1 2 2 0 0 5
1st period - 1, LA, Martinez 6 (Brown, Kopitar), 8:45, (pp). 2, SJ, Demers 4 (Winnik, Moore), 16:27.
2nd period - 3, LA, Stoll 6 (King, Mitchell), 8:54, (pp). 4, LA, Brown 22 (Kopitar, Mitchell), 13:19. 5, SJ, Thornton 19 (Boyle, Couture), 19:32, (pp).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Clowe (unassisted), 1:10. 7, LA, Williams 20 (Martinez, Mitchell), 3:54, (pp). 8, SJ, Marleau 29 (Pavelski), 4:55, (pp). 9, SJ, Havlat 7 (Clowe, Marleau), 12:36, (pp). 10, LA, Williams 21 (RIchards, Kopitar), 16:29, (pp).
Overtime - None.
Shootout - LA: Richards (miss), Brown (miss), Kopitar (miss). SJ: Clowe (miss), Pavelski (goal).
1st period - Wingels, SJ (roughing), 7:04; Fraser, LA (roughing), 7:04; Thornton, SJ (cross checking), 7:18; Thornton, SJ (fighting major), 7:18; Douty, LA (fighting kajor), 7:18; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 9:48; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 9:48; Green, LA (fighting major), 9:48; Clifford, LA (boarding major), 19:05.
2nd period - Douty, LA (hooking), 4:53; Winnik, SJ (roughing), 8:21; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 13:34; Clifford, LA (fighting major), 13:34; Quick, LA (interference), 18:30.
3rd period - Pavelski, SJ (tripping), 3:41; Scuderi, LA (dealy of game - puck over glas), 4:32; Winnik, SJ (hooking), 7:28; Kopitar, LA (tripping), 11:24; Galiardi, SJ (elbowing), 15:16; Marleau, SJ (tripping), 15:58.
Overtime - Brown, LA (holding), 3:46.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 36 31
LA - Quick 31 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 8 10 8 5 31
LA 18 11 6 1 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 3 of 6
LA 4 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Willie Mitchell
Ryane Clowe
Justin Williams
Referees: Walkom, Pochmara. Linesmen: Devorski, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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