The San Jose Sharks aimed to keep pressure on the rival Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 at SAP Center. Turns out, the Sharks’ plan to thrive didn’t work on Monday night.
The Sharks scored on their first shot on goal for the third straight game. Just 30 seconds after the faceoff, Joe Thornton circled into the slot and fired a wrist shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to give his team a 1-0 lead. Tomas Hertl provided the lone assist on Thornton’s first playoff goal of the series.
Both teams received penalties in the first period.
Brayden McNabb was called for hooking Tomas Hertl at 5:33. The Sharks were unable to capitalize on their first power play of the game.
Less than two minutes later, Tommy Wingels was called for hooking Drew Doughty. The Kings took advantage of their first power play of the game. Jake Muzzin’s shot was blocked, but Milan Lucic slid the rebound in front to Anze Kopitar, who shot a game-tying, power play goal into the net to tie the game 1-1 at 8:10.
The game was tied 1-1 after 20 minutes with the Kings outshooting the Sharks 13-7. Martin Jones was credited with keeping the game even with six saves.
Trevor Lewis was called for interference with Joe Pavelski 2:33 into the second period. The Sharks went on their second power play, but didn’t benefit from it.
The Sharks received their third power play when Marian Gaborik was called for high sticking Joel Ward, but couldn’t capitalize it. Quick prevented San Jose from scoring by making a huge save on Chris Tierney’s wrist shot.
With 1:24 left in the second, the Kings went on their third power play after Tierney was called for delay of game and a faceoff violation, but Los Angeles managed to kill off the penalty.
The game remained tied 1-1 after 40 minutes with the Kings outshooting the Sharks 19-18.
The Sharks went on their fourth power play at 9:40 of the third period after Milan Lucic was called for slashing Justin Braun.
Tanner Pearson was called for delaying the game with a puck over the glass, which awarded the Sharks their fifth power play at 14:04.
Hertl dropped the gloves with Dustin Brown with 54 seconds left in regulation, which led to a
roughing penalty. The Kings were unable to capitalize on their fourth power play.
The game went into overtime after the score remained in a 1-1 deadlock after 60 minutes. The Kings’ special teams were outstanding. On top of that, the game was fairly physical, as Los Angeles had 51 hits and the Sharks had 44.
Pearson didn’t let the game slip away in the extra period. He opted to shoot the puck on a two-on-one and made a wrist shot through the five-hole that went past Jones for the game-winning goal 3:47 into overtime.
The Kings skated away with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Sharks. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for Los Angeles while Martin Jones made 22 saves for San Jose.
Despite the harsh loss, the Sharks continued to lead the series 2-1.
The Sharks shared mixed feelings about Thursday’s loss.
When asked about the puck over the glass, veteran forward Joe Thornton said “I didn’t know if it hit Tomas Hertl or another guy, but I just wanted to climb through.”
“I thought we did a great job keeping the pucks to the side,” goaltender Martin Jones said. “We blocked a lot of shots. . .but they’re a great team and we need to play better.”
In the rinkside room, head coach Peter DeBoer began with “We were going past them, but we didn’t give up that easily. We cashed in on one of the chances.”
When asked about special teams, DeBoer said “Special teams are a big part. I actually liked their power plays tonight. They generated some chances. You have to give them some credit for blocking some shots and making some big saves when they needed to, but we were unorganized and let some pucks into the net.”
DeBoer added “We took a couple penalties. I think that kind of sucked our momemtum. We have to stay away from that. . .The reality is, they’re a very good team. They have multiple Stanley Cup winners over there. We knew this wasn’t going to be a sweep. We’re in a good spot. We could’ve won the game tonight, but we have to keep rolling with the same type of energy.”
Sharks announced a sellout crowd of 17,562.
Sharks’ fourth-line forwards Dainius Zubrus and Micheal Haley, along with defenseman Dylan DeMelo were healthy scratches for the third straight game.
Kings’ Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff and Kevin Gravel remained on the ice for extra work and were healthy scratches. Kyle Clifford returned to the lineup after being scratched Saturday night. Alec Martinez was out with an undisclosed injury.
Up Next: Both teams meet again at SAP Center Wednesday for Game 4. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm PT on CSCA, CBC, TVA and USA.