Los Angeles Hockey: Joe Pavelsi

Kings: Justin Williams scores but L.A. trails, 2-1

April, 25, 2011
Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 6 (San Jose leads best-of-seven series, 3-2)

After the 2nd period:

San Jose Sharks 2, Kings 1

The good: Kings center Brad Richardson appeared to loose some teeth with just under nine minutes left in the period and the Kings made sure they weren’t lost for nothing. On the ensuing four-minute high-sticking penalty to Joe Thornton, the Kings threatened for the first three minutes before Justin Williams finally pounced on a rebound off the shot of defenseman Jack Johnson and put it past goalie Antti Niemi to tie the score, 1-1, with 6:33 left in the period. Williams, who was questionable for the playoffs after dislocating his shoulder with 2 1/2 weeks remaining in the regular season, has three playoff goals. Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi took a skate blade to the face while attempting to throw a hip check on Niclas Wallin. Scuderi immediately went down and appeared to be cut as he headed to the locker room, but he returned to the ice a few minutes later. The Kings also killed two penalties in the period, with goalie Jonathan Quick doing the best work.

The bad: San Jose finally got one by Quick on their 19th shot on goal. Quick lost his stick seconds earlier after a mad scramble in the crease. Not sure if the Sharks recognized the missing equipment, but Thornton found third-line forward Kyle Wellwood alone in the slot seconds later and he hit the top of the crossbar on Quick’s glove side for a 1-0 lead 2:58 into the period. Shortly after the Kings tied the score, Ryan Smyth had a golden opportunity to give the Kings a lead when a teammates's slap shot got loose in the crease, but Smyth couldn't connect with the bouncing puck cleanly and Niemi used his outstretched arm to keep it in front of the goal line. The Sharks then took the air back out of Staples Center about 90 seconds later when they out-muscled the Kings for a loose puck along the boards in their offensive zone, and Joe Pavelski fed a nice cross-ice pass to Jason Demers who had a step on Kings forward Scott Parse. Demers nailed a one-timer past Quick for a 2-1 lead with 3:08 remaining. Parse, who returned in Game 5 after sitting out the last six months following hip surgery, looked a little gimpy as he pursued Demers. The Kings have allowed one goal in the opening periods of the series and 12 in the second.

The in between: The Kings were getting out-shot, 25-7, at the halfway point of the period but the shot totals now read 18 for the Kings and 29 for the Sharks. The have 20 minutes to turn things around, otherwise it's another long offseason.

Kings: Hoping to nip this streak in the bud

December, 31, 2010
San Jose Sharks (20-13-5) vs. Kings (22-14-1) at Staples Center, 6 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Lesson learned – Time to wipe the slate clean. The Kings don’t want their two-game losing streak to extend any further and leave the locker room feeling like after-school detention. Hockey, being a sport where the margin of error and success is so minuscule, can change momentum in an instant and the Kings know that well. Kings coach Terry Murray could have run his team ragged during practice Friday, but he elected to keep it short. Expect the Kings to respond well.

2. On the reboundJonathan Quick needs a bounce-back game in a big way. He was torched for six goals in about 30 minutes Wednesday night at Phoenix, and allowed another in relief of Jonathan Bernier on Thursday. He shut out the Sharks on Monday, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot at the moment. The first period will be especially huge for Quick.

3. All knotted up– Despite the back-to-back blowout losses against Phoenix and Philadelphia, the Kings were still in fourth place in the Western Conference heading into Friday’s games. San Jose also has 45 points, making this an even more important 'movement' game in the standings. Both teams are also just three points from falling out of the top eight. Through this point last season the Kings were 22-13-3.

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