Saturday, April 23, 2011
Kings: Quick start sets up Quick finish
By Dan Arritt
Western Conference quarterfinals
Kings 3, San Jose Sharks 1 (Sharks lead the series, 3-2)
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: Facing elimination, the Kings scored three goals on their first four shots Saturday night and held on behind a record performance by goalie Jonathan Quick to defeat the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
THE STAT: Quick stopped a franchise playoff record 51 shots on goal to keep the Kings alive heading into Game 6 on Monday night at Staples Center.
TURNING POINT: Early in the first period, Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi took a slap shot that was redirected by Kings rookie Kyle Clifford and again by linemate Wayne Simmonds, skipping past the goal line to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Coming into the game, the Kings had won 68.8% of the games when they scored first this season.
HOT: The Kings got worked in the face-off circle in Game 4, but Jarret Stoll mastered the draw Saturday night, winning 15 of 17 drops.
NOT: The Sharks came into the game scoreless on their previous nine postseason power plays and they didn’t help their cause by going 0-for-4 in Game 5.
GOOD MOVE: Kings coach Terry Murray has stood behind Quick, even after allowing 12 goals in the last two games, and the net-minder turned in a marvelous performance in Game 5 to make everyone look good.
BAD MOVE: San Jose coach Todd McClellan pulled goalie Antti Niemi after he allowed the first three goals and inserted Antero Niittymaki. It’s the second time in the series he has yanked Niemi. After a goalie change in Game 3, the Sharks rallied from a four-goal deficit to win, 6-5, in overtime. This time, the Sharks couldn’t turn the same trick and McClellan may have created a goalie controversy.
NOTABLE: The Kings have outscored the Sharks, 8-1, in the opening period of the series.
UP NEXT: Monday, Game 6, at Staples Center, 7 p.m.