The LA Kings completed the comeback on home ice on Monday night after defeating the San Jose Sharks 4-1.
Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar both scored two goals in the game and Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots to seal the victory for the Kings. The win ties the series at 3-3 and forces a game seven matchup in San Jose.
Williams scored a hugely controversial goal late in the third period and that goal is what ended up being the game winner and a massive turning point in the series.
I strongly believe it should have counted. The referee made a terrible mistake and may have sealed the fate of the San Jose Sharks because of it. On every single replay, Williams is clearly pushing Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock into his own net along with the puck. Plus, the pay should’ve been dead since the puck was underneath Stalock’s pad as he was being shoved.
But there is nothing the Sharks can do about it now except head home and prepare for game seven. This is a very tough loss for them to have to take but the controversial goal isn’t the only reason that the San Jose Sharks lost this game.
The Sharks' inability to convert any of their powerplay opportunities was a huge factor as well. If they could’ve capitalised on the two-man advantage they received in the game, it could’ve led to an entirely different result.
The only positive thing for the Sharks to take away from this was the impressive play of backup goaltender Stalock.
Stalock played extremely well in his first ever playoff game, stopping 26 shots. James Sheppard scored the lone goal for the Sharks.
The bottom line for the Sharks is, they need their top guys to score early and energise the home crowd. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture really need to step up if the Sharks are to have any hope of advancing to the next round.
They did not do a good enough job getting traffic in front of goaltender Quick in this game. More importantly, they didn’t shoot the puck enough on their powerplay opportunities.
For the Kings, this comeback has been building for a while now. Quick seems to be getting better and better with every game. The Kings have found some secondary scoring through Justin Williams, Marion Gaborik and Jarett Stoll and to tie the series on home ice is even sweeter for them.
It certainly seems that everything is going according to plan for the Kings right now. If Gaborik and Kopitar continue scoring, I believe the Kings have a good chance to advance to the second round.
The one thing that could hurt them going forward is all the needless fighting that occurred after the game. I believe that could backfire on the Kings and end up benefiting the Sharks.
After all, it is the Sharks that are going home for the final game of the series. And for Quick to pick a fight with Sharks captain Thornton after the game was not a smart move in my opinion.
When there is a total of 98 penalty minutes in a game, it’s safe to say that these teams just hate each other.
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