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Flameout on Figeroa
Sharks drop 3rd straight to Kings
4/28/14 - By Mike Lee -

Last Sunday, you were all wondering if the Sharks would finish off the Kings in Game 4 or 5. A week later, everyone is now praying the Sharks will figure out how to turn around another post-season collapse. After storming to a 3-0 series lead against the Kings, San Jose capped what will go down as the Flamout on Figeroa on Monday night with another playoff implosion and a 3rd straight Kings win to force a Game 7 on Wednesday night. Should the Sharks figure out how to somehow turn the tide and actually outscore the Kings, San Jose will have expended a ton of energy just to get out of the 1st round. When the Sharks did the exact thing in 2011, they had nothing left and were dispatched easily in the 2nd round.

* Monday night was the tight knit game that everyone expected in the series, until the 3rd period rolled around and the Sharks folded like a deck of cards that were doused in gas and ignited with a flamethrower.

* Los Angeles did what they needed to do, scoring 3rd uncontested goals in that 3rd period to steamroll the Sharks by a 4-1 score.

* The Sharks had the perfect excuse to lay down. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, arguably their best defenseman, was unable to play after sustaining a concussion on a Jarret Stoll cheap shot in Game 5. With Vlasic out of the lineup, San Jose was forced to lean on a farm hand in Matt Irwin who was on the ice for a controversial goal that turned out to be the game winner.

* That goal came with just over 8 minutes remaining in a 1-1 game. Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock appeared to have a puck covered, but Justin Williams essentially pushed Stalock, dislodging the puck and allowing it to roll over the goal line. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan says his team was "cheated." Referee Chris Lee insists that he never lost sight of the puck, even though he clearly raised his whistle to his mouth and then dropped it when the puck squirted out.

* When pressed to describe what happened, McLellan lamented that he wish all the reporters in the room could interview the on ice officials to get their explanation.

* The goal changed the entire complexion of the game. The Sharks found themselves trailing with 8 minutes to play, so they were forced to open up the offense. That turned into more room for the Kings who converted less than 2 minutes later, then added a power play goal with 5:18 to play to pound the final nail in the Sharks coffin.

* Williams kicked off the game's scoring with a goal 5:39 into the contest, tapping home a Drew Doughty feed to the front of the net. Doughty carried the puck up the left wing boards before putting on the breaks and throwing the puck to the front of the net. Williams was left unattended and coasted toward the right post and tapped home his 3rd of the playoffs as Joe Pavelski tried to get back and cover.

* From the irony department, Joe Thornton was sent off for kneeing Dustin Brown, who was credited with four 9's and a 10 from the Russian judge on the ensuing dive. Brown of course, continued to play, because it was harmless contact.

* Willie Mitchell just missed making it a 2-0 Kings lead early in the 2nd period when his long shot weaved through traffic and bounced off the right post.

* San Jose had a golden opportunity to bite into the Kings when Robyn Regehr and Jarret Stoll took penalties 23 seconds apart to setup a lengthy 5-on-3 power play for the Sharks. San Jose tried to setup the perfect shot with a series of perimeter passes that did nothing other than kill clock.

* Drew Doughty clipped Patrick Marleau with a high stick a minute after Stoll's penalty expired to put the Sharks right back on the power play. The Sharks 19th ranked power play did little to challenge Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, generating zero shots on goal.

* San Jose finally got on the board 30 seconds after Doughty's penalty expired. Justin Braun threw a shot on net from the right point, allowing James Sheppard to tip the puck past Quick for the tying goal.

* Tomas Hertl narrowly missed putting the Sharks ahead on the ensuing shift, taking a lead pass up the left wing before forcing a shot that Quick blocked by sliding to his right.

* The Kings lost defenseman Willie Mitchell to what appeared to be a knee injury midway through the middle period. Mitchell played a handful of shifts before heading to the dressing room. That's the last the sellout crowd would see of Mitchell.

* Marion Gaborik just missed on a chance with under a minute to play in the 2nd period, pushing a shot over the crossbar from 10 feet out.

* Matt Nieto put a shot on goal during a wild exchange midway through the 3rd period, clipping the top of the crossbar to keep things tied.

* All hell broke loose when Williams converted with his 2nd goal of the game. Kopitar then scored his 2nd of the series at 13:27, banging home a rebound after Williams put a shot on net that Stalock couldn't control.

* Tommy Wingels added to the Sharks misery by taking a questionable hooking penalty that looked more like two guys tangled up with each other. Kopitar capitalized with his 2nd goal of the game on the ensuing power play to push the Kings lead to 4-1.

* The next 5 minutes looked more like a WWE event for underachievers. Raffit Torres and Williams locked horns and were promptly shown the door with roughing minors and 10 minute misconducts.

* Rather than do anything meaningful in the game, Sharks captain Joe Thornton elected to take a run at Drew Doughty, cross checking him in front of the Kings net. Quick took exception and went after Thornton by trying to cover his eyes from behind and setting off a tag team wrestling match on the ice. Quick was assessed a roughing minor, rather than the instigator penalty that he deserved.

* When the smoke cleared, the Kings had rallied back from a 3-0 series deficit and now look to the Game 7 that awaits both teams on Wednesday night. The Sharks hold home ice advantage, but the Kings hold the psychological edge having won the last three games. Regardless of the outcome on Wednesday, the Sharks look ill prepared to do any damage beyond the first round.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
LA 1 0 3 4
1st period - 1, LA, Williams 3 (Doughty, Muzzin), 5:39.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Sheppard 2 (Braun, Torres), 12:26.
3rd period - 3, LA, Williams 4 (Regehr), 11:56. 4, LA, Kopitar 2 (Williams, King), 13:27; 5, LA, Kopitar 3 (Doughty, Martinez), 14:42, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 6:11; Clifford, LA (fighting major), 6:11; Thornton, SJ (kneeing), 11:14.
2nd period - Regehr, LA (interference), 6:17; Stoll, LA (high sticking), 6:40; Doughty, LA (high sticking), 9:54.
3rd period - Pearson, LA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:29; Boyle, SJ (interference), 2:01; Wingels, SJ (hooking), 13:56; Couture, SJ (fighting major), 14:47; Richards, LA (fighting major), 14:47; Torres, SJ (roughing), 14:59; Torres, SJ (10 min misconduct), 14:59; Williams, LA (roughing), 14:59; Williams, LA (10 min misconduct), 14:59; Desjardins, SJ (roughing), 18:14; Burns, SJ (roughing), 18:14; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 18:14; Quick, LA (roughing), 18:14; Stoll, LA (roughing), 18:14;, LA (10 min misconduct), 18:14.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 30 26
LA - Quick 26 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 9 6 26
LA 12 5 13 30
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
LA 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Justin Williams
Anze Kopitar
Jonathan Quick
Attendence
18,384
Officials
Referees: Lee, St Laurent. Linesmen: Racicot, Heyer.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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