The San Jose Sharks scored early and often to cruise to a 6-3 victory over the LA Kings Thursday night.
Joe Thorton and Patrick Marleau both scored goals for the Sharks. Tomas Hertl, Raffi Torres, Brent Burns, and Marc Edouard Vlasic all scored as well.
This scoring explosion comes as quite a shock to most hockey fans. Jonathan Quick is usually one of the more dependable goalies when playoff hockey comes around.
Maybe it was because they were on the road, but Jonathan Quick looked far from comfortable in goal. The Kings star goaltender let in five goals in just two periods of play.
He was eventually pulled and backup goalie Martin Jones played the final period for the Kings. Now of course, Quick isn’t the only person to blame for this loss.
The LA Kings didn’t have much of an offensive response after going down so early in the game. And any chances they did have were stopped by San Jose’s goaltender Antti Niemi.
Niemi made 31 saves on the night, including a beautiful pad save on Drew Doughty in close. Based on this game, it’s hard to believe that it was the LA Kings who knocked out the Sharks in last year’s playoffs.
I was quite impressed at how the Sharks never stopped attacking throughout this game. The team’s physical play and size also had a huge impact on the game. The Sharks kept the game plan simple in this game, just crash the net, and see what happens.
Well it certainly seemed to pay off. Now to be fair some of the goals were due to a lot of bad bounces for the Kings. Joe Thorton admitted just that stating: “We got fortunate with a couple of those goals” in his post game press conference. But in the end, the win is all that matters in the playoffs.
If the San Jose Sharks can carry this momentum into game two on Sunday, they could easily win this series. But you can bet that Jonathan Quick will not be so easily beaten in the next game. However, if the Sharks players feed off the energy of the home crowd and continue to hit the Kings, this could be a quick series.
For the Los Angeles Kings, losing to a rival is always tough to take. But it is only game one of the series. If Jonathan Quick can bounce back and steal this next game, this series could get blown wide open.
However, if the Kings have any hope of winning game two, the players must do a far better job of protecting their star players. Anze Kopitar was hit hard far too many times in this loss in my opinion. And if guys like Drew Doughty don’t step in to help out, this could be a long and painful series for the Kings. I can’t wait to see if the Kings will be able to wake up and steal a victory on the the road on Sunday.
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