Home ice advantage wins again as the Sharks fail to win on the road at the Staples Center. The San Jose Sharks lost 3-0 and are now on the brink of elimination being down 3-2 in the series.
The Los Angeles Kings came out strong in the first period and it pretty much stayed that way throughout the game. The Sharks may have weathered the early storm, but they waited until they were down 2-0 in the third period before they really decided to wake up. They will have to come out much stronger in game six if they want to fore a game seven.
The Kings’ goals were scored by Anze Kopitar, Slava Voynov, and Jeff Carter.
Kopitar broke the ice in the second period when he scored on a wide open net. A shot from the point ended up being redirected, on which Antti Niemi made the intial save. Unfortunately the puck landed right on Kopitar’s stick and all he had to do was tap the puck into the net.
Los Angeles then took the 2-0 lead after a Voynov goal on a shot from the point. There was tons of traffic in front of Niemi and the way he reacted it looked like he did not even see the puck. The blame for this goal goes squarely to T.J. Galiardi who took a stupid penalty after shoving Jonathan Quick in the crease. The goal was not scored on the insuing power play, but rather right after it expired, on the same offensive possession. After all that talk he made about Quick, he sure did not help himself after that one.
Carter scored their final goal, which came when Niemi had already been pulled. He scored the empty net goal with about 30 seconds left in the game to seal the deal.
It was a rough night for the Sharks who did not really test Quick very often, if at all. They spent most of the game in their own end and failed time after time to break out of their zone cleanly. When they finally did get into the Kings’ zone it was cleaned up pretty quickly and easily by L.A.
Todd McLellan even tried stir something up offensively for San Jose by mixing the lines, and it generated some chances, but not goals. I would not be surprised if we see some different line combos come Sunday night.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Anze Kopitar (1 goal)
2. Jonathan Quick (24 saves, shutout)
3. Antti Niemi (26/28 saves)