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Missed opportunities gift the Kings Game 3
0-for-5 on the PP one of many missed chances
4/18/16 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks played like world beaters for 30 seconds on Monday night. Then they came back to earth and played mediocre hockey for the better part of an hour and allowed the Los Angeles Kings to crawl back in their Western Conference Quarter Final series after a series of missed opportunities. Tanner Pearson scored an overtime goal at SAP Center to help the Kings cut the Sharks series lead to 2-1.

The chances were plenty, but San Jose did everything in their power to shoot themselves in the foot. As the series shifted to San Jose, the Sharks had a chance to put a stranglehold on the series with a win. Instead, they did the little things to tend to lead to losses.

From the opening faceoff, it looked as if the Sharks were going to maul the Kings. San Jose grabbed that faceoff puck, skated up ice and deposited the fist shot on goal after Joe Thornton circled around the Kings net then snapped a shot from the slot that beat Jonathan Quick for his 1st goal of the playoffs.

The SAP Center crowd erupted into a frenzy. They had the Kings right were they wanted them. They had the lead, the momentum, and home ice advantage.

Except, home ice has been anything but advantageous for the Sharks. The simple truth is, the Sharks didn't do the little things enough at home during the regular season, and they didn't do the little things on Monday night.

The ice was tilted in San Jose's favor, with the Sharks pinning the Kings in their own zone with a furious rush following Thornton's goal. A Brayden McNabb hooking penalty at the 5:33 mark setup what should have been a golden opportunity to push the lead. Instead, the Shark fell back into their typical perimeter approach on the power play, and let the opportunity slip through their fingers.

San Jose continued to push the pace, but a Tommy Wingels hooking penalty put the on the defensive for the first time of the night. The fact that Wingels took a lazy stick infraction was baffling at that moment in the game. The Sharks were buzzing, and a lazy penalty snuffed it all out.

The Kings cashed in on the ensuing power play when Anze Kopitar slammed home a Milan Lucic feed from the Sharks doorstep.

Just like that, momentum snuffed out. San Jose elected to continue their pursuit of goals from long distance, but like relationships, long distance doesn't work. The Sharks insisted on keeping their noses clean by staying as far away from the front of the Kings crease as possible. To nobody's surprise, the goals never came.

Los Angeles did a great job of trying to give the game away by handing the Sharks five power plays throughout the game. The special teams play was simply lacking. They rarely tested Quick while on the man advantage, squandering the chances that were served up on a golden platter.

The Kings took two big penalties in the 3rd period, which should have come with a gift receipt because they didn't use the gift.

All of those misses came back to haunt the Sharks in the extra period. Kings captain Dustin Brown started the nightmare scenario for San Jose by laying the body on Joonas Donskoi right in front of the Los Angeles bench. By knocking Donskoi off the puck, it allowed Pearson to grab it and race in on net. Defenseman Brendan DIllon elected to try and retaliate on Brown, rather than play defense.

That decision was the wrong one, as Pearson skated in on net 2-on-1. The Kings forward snapped a shot from 25-feet out, beating Jones to eh low glove side. It was a shot that Jones probably should have had, but then again, the Sharks should have been leading 3-1 at that point.

Cash in on those 3rd period chances, and there's no overtime to begin with.


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1 2 3 OT T
LA 1 0 0 1 2
SJ 1 0 0 0 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 1 (Hertl), 0:30. 2, LA, Kopitar 1 (Lucic, Muzzin), 8:10, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - 3, LA, Pearson 1 (Brown, Lecavalier), 3:47.
1st period - McNabb, L A (hooking), 5:33; Wingels, SJ (hooking), 7:50; Spaling, SJ (tripping), 11:50.
2nd period - Lewis, LA (interference), 2:57; Gaborik, LA (high sticking), 13:01; Tierney, SJ (delay of game - face off violation), 18:36.
3rd period - Lucic, LA (slashing), 9:40; Pearson, LA (delay of game - puck over glass), 14:04; Brown, LA (roughing), 19:06; Hertl, SJ (roughing), 19:06.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 30 29
SJ - Jones 24 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
LA 13 6 3 2 24
SJ 7 11 9 3 30
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 3
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Tanner Pearson
Jonathan Quick
Martin Jones
Referees: O'Halloran, Walsh. Linesmen: Cherrey, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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