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Mercifully, it's over
Sharks end season with another loss to the Kings
4/11/15 - By Mike Lee -

It's not officially spring until the Sharks close out their season with a loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Like the two previous seasons, the Sharks ended their season with a loss to the Kings, albeit without the drama of the past two seasons. The Sharks stayed true to the season by imploding in the 3rd period, an all too frequent occurrence this season, en route to a 4-1 loss at the Staples Center in Southern California on Saturday.

After grabbing an early 1-0 lead, the Sharks packed up the season and essentially went home. They didn't bother showing up for the final 40 minutes of the game, but it was hard to blame them. There was nothing worth playing for. Their fate long decided earlier in the week when they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

There was nothing worth playing for.

Except pride.

Kings head coach Darryl Sutter told reporters that his team was still defending Champions and they would play like it today. True to his word, the Kings played the game. The Sharks did not.

There's something to be said about team that finishes out the season, even when it's meaningless. That in itself speaks volumes about the Sharks locker room. From top to bottom, there was little energy or purpose on Saturday. Bryan Lerg didn't stand a chance in this one.

After Brent Burns converted on a 1st period power play, the Sharks were mentally traveling down the 405 to LAX and their short flight home. If Todd McLellan had any motivation to send a message to his team, he would have sent some of them home early.

The Sharks were dominators for 20 minutes per game most of the season. One good period and it was time to put their feet up and enjoy a cold one. That was the opening 20 minutes on Saturday.

The Kings began to open things up in the 2nd period, when Tyler Toffoli tied the game by poking home a puck from the top of the crease after Andy Adreoff pushed the puck parallel to the goal mouth from the right side. Chris Tierney was late to cover Toffoli, who had an open goal to shoot at.

Los Angeles dismantled the Sharks in the 3rd period, much like Sharks owner Plasso Hassner needs to do this off-season.

The Kings out-shot San Jose 17-5 in the period, and outscoring them 3-0. Brayden McNabb gave the Kings the lead at 6:03 of the period on what amounted to a power play goal after Brendan Dillon tried braking up an odd man rush with a hook. McNabb one-timed a shot from the right circle a second after Dillon's penalty expired to make it 2-1 Kings.

The Sharks defense went on cruise control, allowing Marion Gaborik to walk in an snipe a goal from the doorstep 3 minutes later. The Kings forward took a pass as he sliced down the slot uncontested. Justin Williams sat parked in front of goaltender Alex Stalock, creating a distraction as Gaborik lifted a shot just inside the left post for the 301 lead.

Andreaoff added an empty-net goal with 44 seconds to play to ice the game, sending the Sharks home losers for the 3rd consecutive year. Anyone in teal scurried for the locker room following the final horn, ready to put the 2014-15 season behind them.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
LA 0 1 3 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Burns 17 (Pavelski, Thornton), 1:38, (pp).
2nd period - 2, LA, Toffoli 23 (Stoll, Andreoff), 10:47.
3rd period - 3, LA, McNabb 2 (Doughty, Carter), 6:03. 4, LA, Gaborik 27 (Muzzin, Williams), 9:27. 5, LA, Andreaoff 2 (Toffoli), 19:16, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Regehr, LA (interference), 1:25; Scott, SJ (boarding), 5:54; Martinez, LA (hooking), 8:33.
2nd period - Brown, SJ (roughing), 7:19; Clifford, LA (roughing), 7:19; Brown, LA (tripping), 11:36; Tierney, SJ (holding the stick), 16:16.
3rd period - Dillon, SJ (hooking), 4:02.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 35 32
SJ - empty net 1 0
LA - Quick 21 20
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 8 5 21
LA 8 11 17 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
LA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Justin Williams
Jarret Stoll
Robyn Regehr
Attendance
18,230
Officials
Referees: Jackson, St Laurent. Linesmen: Heyer, Rody.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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