Los Angeles Kings: Patrick Marleau
April, 22, 2014
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan sounded more like a history teacher going into Tuesday's Western Conference quarterfinals Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings.
He was done talking about his team thoroughly dismantling the Kings in the first two games in Los Angeles, outscoring them 13-5 and punching holes in what had been the league's most stingy defense this season.
He told the Sharks about the Kings' coming back from an 0-2 series hole in the first round last season against the St. Louis Blues and winning in six games. He told them about the semifinals series they had with the Kings in which the Kings won the first two games, the Sharks tied up and the series went seven games.
McLellan didn't want his team to let the Kings back into this series, and that meant it would have to do something it hadn't been done in a while -- win in Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, the Sharks took a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Kings with a 4-3 overtime win. It was the first win by a visiting team in 10 playoff games between the Kings and the Sharks over the past two seasons.
How it happened: Game 3 began ominously for the Kings with the Sharks picking up right where they left off in San Jose. After the Kings squandered another power-play opportunity despite getting three shots on goal, the Sharks got their chance and didn't waste any time capitalizing on the opportunity, as Brent Burns fanned on the slap shot and pushed the fluttering puck past Jonathan Quick to give the Sharks a quick 1-0 lead just 3:16 into the first period.
The Kings finally capitalized on a power play the third time around after getting only four shots on goal during their first two combined. This time Jarret Stoll tied it with a one-timer on a cross ice pass from Tyler Toffoli. It was Stoll's first playoff goal since the Kings' Stanley Cup title run in 2012 after failing to score a goal last postseason.
Marian Gaborik then gave the Kings a 2-1 lead on a nifty goal on an odd-man rush. Less than two minutes later, the Sharks tied it again when Matt Nieto scored on a deflected point shot with Quick lying on the ice after Robyn Regehr knocked him down.
Los Angeles took the lead 51 seconds into the third period when Jeff Carter scored his first playoff goal since Game 2 of last season's Western Conference finals. It was the Kings' second power-play goal of the game. The Sharks then tied it up and sent it to overtime when Tomas Hertl scored on his fourth effort after a power play had expired.
San Jose finally took a commanding 3-0 series lead when Patrick Marleau put home a shot to Quick's right that deflected off Slava Voynov's stick to give the Sharks the 4-3 overtime win.
What it means: The Sharks are one win away from eliminating the Kings and advancing to the Western Conference semifinals, exacting some revenge after being eliminated by L.A. in seven games in the quarterfinals last season. If the Sharks win Thursday, it will be the first time the Kings have been swept in the playoffs since 2000.
Player of the game: Marleau scored the winning goal 6:20 into overtime when his backhanded shot fluttered past Quick, who had made 36 saves. Marleau also assisted on the tying goal in the second period and had four shots and three hits. The Sharks have now won five straight playoff overtime games and 10 of their past 11 with Marleau scoring four game winners during that time.
Stat of the game: The Sharks outshot the Kings 40-31, including 23-8 in the third period.
What's next: The Sharks can eliminate the Kings in Game 4 in Los Angeles. The last time the Kings were down 0-3 in a series was against the Detroit Red Wings in 2000, which was also the last time they were swept in the postseason.