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Another playoff exit
Sharks season ends with Game 7 loss
5/28/13 - By Mike Lee -

Done. Finished. Over. The run is done. With their season on the line, the Sharks flubbed their chance to extend their season by dropping a 2-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night at Staples Center. San Jose had no answer for the Kings who dominated the Sharks at home this season. In six games at Staples Center during the regular season and playoffs, the Sharks scored 8 goals total, in losing every one of those games.

San Jose continued their long standing tradition of tripping in the playoffs, failing again to even qualify for the Stanley Cup Finals. Los Angeles didn't chance their approach, applying a constant stream of hits to keep the Sharks from controlling the puck.

There was no adjustment to the Kings strategy, and as a result no difference in the outcome of the contest. Both teams used the opening period to feel each other out, and look for an opening to exploit. The Kings put a paltry 3 shots on goal in that period, with the Sharks countering with 5 of their own.

Both teams were also assessed a single penalty in that opening 20 minutes, with Joe Thornton and Jeff Carter earning high sticking penalties 23 seconds apart. Neither team would capitalize on their abridged power play chances.

The Kings opened the game's scoring after a marginal interference penalty was called on Brent Burns 2:46 into the 2nd period. Justin Williams converted after jamming at a puck that was lodged between the left post and netminder Antti Niemi's glove. Williams stabbed at the puck as Niemi tried freezing the puck.

Williams converted again less than three minutes later, snapping a feed from Anze Kopitar past Niemi from the left circle. The Kings had moved the puck into the San Jose zone as the Sharks tried making a line chance. The Sharks had only two defenders back as four Kings rushed into the zone and strung together a series of passes, ending with Kopitar's feed for the one-time chance.

As if the goals weren't bad enough, rookie centerman Bracken Kearns tripped Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin while the Sharks were in the offensive zone 30 seconds after Williams 2nd goal.

San Jose killed off the penalty but were unable to counter after Muzzin was sent off for interference 75 seconds into Kearns penalty.

Adam Burish got his name on the scoresheet when he accidentally stuck his stick blade under Quick's chin, to draw the goaltender interference penalty. Quick dropped to the ice like a ton of bricks, earning a diving penalty.

The Sharks would finally get a puck past Jonathan Quick at 5:26 of the 3rd period. Defenseman Dan Boyle took a drop Joe Pavelski at the blueline before sliding to his right and rifling a shot past Quick. The Sharks generated the scoring chance with a strong forecheck, causing a turnover in the left corner.

With the Kings clinging to their lead, the Sharks began to claw for the tying goal. Finally figuring out that they need to press the puck down low, San Jose moved the puck outside the left post before a shot attempt rebounded back out to Pavelski who was parked in the slot. The Sharks centerman reached for the puck and swept a shot on a wide open net, but Quick stuck his glove hand out to make the stop.

Pavelski would have easily tied the game had he only lifted the puck, but it floated far enough away from him that he was forced to slide away from the goal to gain control, killing his chance of getting under it.

Los Angeles simply went into clock killing mode. On an icing call Mike Richards feigned an injury to allow his teammates to rest. It was an example of the league not having an answer for the gamesmanship of its players.

The Sharks began to scramble late in the period as their season ticked away. Niemi was pulled with 1:37 left in the season, but the Sharks couldn't bag the equalizer. Quick thrust his arms into the air as time expired. Pavelski could only look up to the rafters and wonder what might have been had he lifted that puck minutes earlier.

The Sharks finally showed off their AWOL team speed, lining up for the traditional handshake at center ice as quickly as possible, before bolting for the locker room.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
LA 0 2 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, LA, Williams 3 (Voynov, Doughty), 4:11, (pp). 2, LA, Williams 4 (Kopitar, Voynov), 7:08.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Boyle 3 (unassisted), 5:26.
Penalties
1st period - Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 12:52; Carter, LA (high sticking), 13:13.
2nd period - Burns, SJ (interference), 2:46; Kearns, SJ (tripping), 7:44; Muzzin, LA (interference), 9:01.
3rd period - Burish, LA (goaltender interference), 2:03; Quick, LA (diving), 2:03.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 18 16
LA - Quick 26 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 5 7 14 26
LA 3 11 4 18
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
LA 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Justin Williams
Jonathan Quick
Antti Niemi
Attendence
18,593
Officials
Referees: Watson, McCauley. Linesmen: Sharrers, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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