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Monday, April 25, 2011
Kings: Sharks win in overtime to clinch series

By Dan Arritt

LOS ANGELES—In the end, the San Jose Sharks were just too skillful.

They toyed with the Kings throughout the game and Western Conference quarterfinal series but came up big when it counted Monday night, as Joe Thornton scored 2:22 into overtime to defeat the Kings, 4-3, and win the best-of-seven series, 4-2.

The Kings finished 0-3 at home in the series and were 0-3 in overtime.

Trevor Lewis tied the score with 8:21 left the same way the Kings scored their first two goals, on a rebound off San Jose goalie Antti Niemi. It was just the second goal for Lewis since Dec.27, a 4-0 win in San Jose, and the second power-play goal for the Kings, who have struggled all season with the man advantage.

They had a prime opportunity to win the game in the closing minutes of regulation when Sharks winger Jamie McGinn face-planted Kings center Brad Richardson along the boards for a five-minute major charging penalty and a game misconduct.

The Kings couldn’t score the final 3:23 regulation or the first 1:27 of overtime to let the Sharks and McGinn off the hook.

The Kings came back to tie the score three times in the game, including twice in the third period.

San Jose had taken a 3-2 lead 8:48 into the third period when a deflected puck came out of the air near the Kings’ blue line and Richardson attempted to catch it in the air but couldn’t get a grip and the puck caromed to Dany Heatley, who strode into the left face-off circle and beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on an unassisted goal.

The Kings had tied the score 18 seconds into the third period when Jarret Stoll’s wrist shot was not gloved cleanly by Niemi and Ryan Smyth was in position to poke it in the net for his second goal of the series and 28th postseason goal of his career.

Smyth had failed to connect on a similar play late in the second period that would have given the Kings a 2-1 lead. Instead, the Sharks scored about 90 seconds later to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.

Richardson also drew a four-minute high-sticking penalty in the second period that led to the Kings’ first goal, a put back by Justin Williams that tied the score, 1-1.