The San Jose Sharks certainly proved that having home ice advantage can really pay off in the playoffs. Shark’s fans got to watch their team devour the LA Kings with a 7-2 victory.
The Sharks came from behind to tie the game through goals from Raffi Torres and Mike Brown. Once the tying goal was scored, the Sharks top line woke up and went to work.
Patrick Marleau, Joe Thorton and Logan Couture all scored goals. Joe Pavelski and Justin Braun also scored goals. Antti Niemi made 24 saves to help give his team a 2-0 series lead.
It seems every year in the playoffs, one player provides shock value, and ends up being an unlikely difference maker.
Most times it comes from a goaltender stealing the show. Well for the San Jose Sharks the difference maker so far has been Raffi Torres. This guy only played five games within the regular season because of injury and necessary surgery.
And in this playoff round he’s got two goals in two games. Both of his goals gave the Sharks the momentum to go on and win the games. This guy is unbelievable and he’s done stuff like this all throughout his career.
Mike Brown has also been instrumental in the Sharks success. I believe it’s going to be very tough for the LA Kings to fight their way back into this series. But the Kings certainly have the players that can launch a comeback. Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar have been very involved in the first two games.
However, the Sharks players have done a fantastic job limiting the time and space for these players. Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty have been shut down for the most part in my opinion.
Jarret Stoll has had an impact, but has taken some pretty undisciplined penalties so far as well. The same can be said for Mike Richards. I believe this series will come down to which teams loses a game on home ice.
The next two games are in Los Angeles. So if the home crowd can somehow boost the confidence of goaltender Jonathan Quick, this series could go all the way to seven games.
However, Quick has looked far from what hockey fans are used to seeing in these first two games. He made several decent saves last night, but some of the goals he let in were very weak in my opinion.
Therefore, if Raffi Torres and the fourth line continue scoring goals, I believe this series will be over very soon.
Monday’s game is a must win for Los Angeles. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have to have a big game if the Kings hope to stay alive in this series. Marion Gaborik really needs to make an impact and provide some secondary scoring as well.
That’s the reason the Kings picked him up on trade deadline day. I can’t wait to see if this hungry Sharks team will have the skill and composure to devour the Kings on the road.
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