Sharks devour Kings to take 2-0 series lead
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Fourth-liners Mike Brown and Raffi Torres scored second-period goals to spark a San Jose comeback and lead the Sharks to a 7-2 victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Kings and a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Justin Braun, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who overcame a two-goal deficit after the first period of a playoff game for just the third time in 26 tries in franchise history. Antti Niemi made 24 saves.
Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis scored first-period goals before Jonathan Quick allowed seven goals in the final two periods. Los Angeles heads home for Game 3 on Tuesday looking to get back into this series.
The Kings can take comfort in the fact that the home team has won 18 of the previous 19 games between these teams, including nine in the playoffs. But Los Angeles will need to break that spell to have a chance to win this series as the Sharks have home-ice advantage a year after losing Game 7 in the second round at Los Angeles last year.
The Kings appeared poised to do just that when they scored twice in the first period and appeared to be getting a bounce-back performance from Quick, who was pulled after allowing five goals in two periods of a 6-3 loss in Game 1 on Thursday.
Quick gave up just 10 goals in seven games to the Sharks last post-season but surpassed that total in less than 4 1/2 periods in the rematch.
The Sharks seized momentum from the opening shift of the second period thanks to some big hits and aggressive forechecking from Thornton and Brent Burns.
Coach Todd McLellan then juggled his lines, moving Tomas Hertl to the top line with Thornton and dropping Pavelski to third-line centre, giving the Sharks depth the Kings couldn’t match.
It was the often overlooked fourth-liners who got the comeback started. Known for their ability to deliver hard hits and get into fights, the line of Andrew Desjardins, Torres and Brown has set the tone for the Sharks this series.
Brown pushed Slava Voynov into Quick early in Game 1 and Torres added a goal in that contest. They came through even more in Game 2 with Brown scoring his first career playoff goal on a quick shot from the slot after a turnover by Kyle Clifford to get the Sharks on the board early in the second.
Midway through the period, Desjardins dropped a perfect pass to Torres, who beat Quick up high for the equalizer. Torres missed the final six games of last year’s series for a hit to the head of Jarret Stoll but has made his impact felt so far in the rematch.
The Sharks took the lead late in the period when Braun beat Quick with a shot from the point through a screen by Tommy Wingels.
Marleau, Pavelski and Couture turned it into a blowout with goals off odd-man rushes in the third before Thornton scored a power-play goal to match a San Jose playoff record with seven goals in a game.