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Sharks grab 2-0 series lead
Another road win gives Sharks leverage
4/16/15 - By Mike Lee -

The league's best road team did it again on Saturday night. With Game 1 already in the win column, the Sharks turned in another gritty performance at Staples Center in Los Angeles to take Game 2 with a 2-1 win over the host Kings. The Sharks took advantage of their chances, and held the Kings offense in check for most of the evening to grab a 2-0 lead in the best of 7 series.

Martin Jones led the charge with another fantastic performance in net. The Sharks goaltender turned aside 26 shots and simply outplayed his former teammate Jonathan Quick. The Kings couldn't solve Jones even strength, and only scored with 5 minutes remaining in regulation.

The Sharks made things a bit easier on their goaltender by grabbing a lead 3:37 into the game. Joe Pavelski staked the Sharks to that lead by scoring his 3rd goal of the series with a shot from the right dot. The Sharks captain saw the puck working along the right wing boards, and parked himself in an open spot and waiting for Brent Burns to slide him a pass. Pavelski gathered that pass and whipped a shot the split defenseman Drew Doughty's skates, sailing it over Quick's shoulder.

Quick may have been screened by Doughty on the shot, never flinching as it snapped past him. Doughty slammed his stick to the ice in disgust with the goal.

The Kings tried to respond sooner than later.

Los Angeles made it a point to try and get the puck to the net, skating with more urgency in the opening moments of the game than in the opening contest of the series. A Chris Tierney holding penalty 4:42 into the contest provided some added motivation for Los Angeles, but the Sharks penalty killers suppressed the Kings from getting the puck to Jones.

When the tables were turned later in the period, San Jose made Quick work for every save. Luke Schenn took an interference penalty at 7:55 of the opening frame that turned into a shooting gallery opportunity for the Sharks. Quick was under siege for a majority of the 2 minutes excursion, but he managed to keep the puck out of his own net.

The Kings survived the penalty, but it was clear that head coach Darryl Sutter had a problem on his hands. He also didn't have an answer for the Sharks higher tempo attack. He tried responding by shuffling his lines throughout the game.

A lack of discipline bit the Kings in the middle period, when Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic took simultaneous penalties. Toffoli got tangled up with Sharks defenseman Paul Martin in front of the Sharks net as the puck was being played on the other end of the ice. The decision to crosscheck Martin resulted in a roughing penalty just as Lucic tried laying out Melker Karlsson. Lucic joined Toffoli in the box for charging, setting up a full 2-minute 5-on-3 power play.

Logan Couture made the Kings pay, scoring his 1st goal of the playoffs at 8:44 of the period. The Sharks moved the puck around the perimeter from right to left where Pavelski fired a shot on net. Quick slid to his right to shut the door on the Sharks captain, but the puck kicked out to Couture out in front for a follow up shot that was deposited into a wide open net.

The Staples Center crowd erupted in chants chiding the referees for the calls that put the Kings down a pair of skaters, but that did nothing to affect the Sharks 2-goal lead.

Those two goals turned out to be crucial as the Sharks went into lockdown mode with the intent of keeping Los Angeles as far away from Jones as possible. That plan forked for the most part, except for a slashing penalty that Karlsson took with just under 6 minutes to play in regulation.

A wild scrum in front of the Sharks net ensued, with just about everyone on the ice touching the puck at one point or another. After bouncing off everyone within two strides of the goal mouth, the puck slid over to the right side of the crease where Vincent Lecavalier was stationed. The former Tampa Bay Lighting captain gathered it up and stuffed it into the goal as Jones sat on his posterior.

The goal woke up the Staples Center crowd, but the Kings would be hard pressed to do any more scoring. Even after pulling Quick with 1:36 left in regulation, Jones would not allow any more rubber to cross his goal line.

Rather than press for the empty-net goal, the Sharks stuck to moving the puck out of their own zone to kill clock. That strategy worked as the Kings couldn't generate anything in terms of a scoring chance, even though they played with the extra attacker.

When the final horn sounded, the Sharks found themselves sitting in the drivers seat of this best-of-seven series, holding a commanding 2-0 lead.

Game Notes:

* Much like Game 1, there was no shortage of hitting. Both teams combined for 87 hits.

* The Kings played without defenseman Alec Martinez, who left Game 1 with an unspecified injury.

* Marion Gaborik returned to the lineup for Los Angeles after missing Game 1. Gaborik added some offensive bite that was missing in the initial meeting between the two teams.

* After making his return to the ice after a two week hiatus to wok through an injury, Marc-Edouard Vlasic logged the second most minutes for San Jose (22:17), trailing only Brent Burns (24:06). Drew Doughty has been forced to double shift much of the game. The Kings defenseman skated a game-high 29:15.

* One problem area that the Sharks need to clean up is in the faceoff circle. San Jose lost 60% of the draws in the game. Patrick Marleau lost 1f of 15 draws and Logan Couture lost 9 of 11.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 0 2
LA 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 3 (Burns, Thornton), 3:37.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Couture 1 (Pavelski, Marleau), 8:44, (pp).
3rd period - 3, LA, Lecavalier 1 (Toffoli, Pearson), 14:59, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Tierney, SJ (holding), 4:42; Schenn, LA (interference), 7:55; King, LA (roughing), 17:45.
2nd period - Toffoli, LA (roughing), 8:14; Lucic, LA (charging), 8:14; Nieto, SJ (hooking), 12:18; Spaling, SJ (holding), 18:17.
3rd period - Spaling, SJ (tripping), 10:59; Carter, LA (slashing), 11:28; Karlsson, SJ (slashing), 14:06.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 26 25
LA - Quick 23 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 9 7 23
LA 5 9 12 26
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
LA 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Martin Jones
Marion Gaborik
Attendance
18,514
Officials
Referees: L'Ecuyer, Watson. Linesmen: Cherrey, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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