The Sharks earned a measure of redemption Saturday, registering a power play goal by Logan Couture at 1:29 of overtime for a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
San Jose cut the Kings’ series lead to 2 games to 1 with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday night at the Shark Tank.
The Sharks had suffered an agonizing loss in Game 2, when they were called for two late penalties and Los Angeles scored two goals 22 seconds apart to tune a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory. And although this time the game was tied 1-1 when San Jose went on the two-man advantage, it finished with the same result – the home team celebrating in front of a delirious crowd.
The winning sequence began at 19:19 of the third period, when the Kings’ Robyn Regehr was called for hooking San Jose’s Tommy Wingels an instant after Wingels narrowly missed the go-ahead score out in front of the crease. Moments later, Los Angeles ended up with a short-handed odd-man rush, but the play was broken up in front of the goal and the Kings Trevor Lewis ended up barreling over San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi. The goaltender interference call at 19:56 gave the Sharks a 5-on-3, which carried over into overtime.
San Jose couldn’t score with the two-man advantage, but it remained on the power play after Regehr came out of the box. Moments later, Sharks center Joe Thornton’s centering pass was tapped out in front of the crease by Patrick Marleau, and Couture was right there to drive it past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick for the game-winner.
The power play proved to be the difference for the Sharks, who like Game 1 were able to put a lot of pressure on Quick but couldn’t score at even-strength. But during the game’s early moments, there was more redemption for San Jose. The Kings’ Jake Muzzin was called for delay of game, the same penalty that gave Los Angeles a two-man advantage near the end of Game 2. This time, it was the Sharks benefitting, as just four seconds into the power play, defenseman Dan Boyle scored on a rocket from the point for a 1-0 advantage just 94 seconds into the contest. The goal was a result of the initial faceoff with the man-advantage, as Joe Pavelski won it and Marleau quickly slid the puck to Boyle for the shot.
The Kings’ only goal came on a careless clearing attempt by San Jose defenseman Brad Stuart, who was easily intercepted by Los Angeles rookie Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli had plenty of time and space to set up for the shot from close-range to tie the game at 1-1 at 10:08 of the first period.
Neither team scored in the second period, although the Sharks dominated the ice. And they did so without Couture, who spent most of the period in the San Jose dressing room with an undisclosed injury. Sharks winger Marty Havlat returned for his first game since getting injured in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Vancouver, but only lasted one period and spent the rest of the game in the dressing room as well.
San Jose had several strong scoring chances in the second period, but each time Quick turned back the scoring attempt. That included a spectacular save on a shot by Andrew Desjardins right to the left of the crease at 14:50.
The Kings were the aggressors in the third period, as they had a handful of good chances, especially in the early moments. But Niemi was sharp as well and Los Angeles couldn’t break through.
STAR OF THE GAME: Patrick Marleau. He assisted on both of the Sharks’ goals, including a quick, nifty pass to Logan Couture in front for the game-winner in overtime.
GAME DATA: The Sharks’ win broke the Kings’ six-game winning streak. … It was Couture’s first career overtime playoff goal. .. With injuries to Couture and Havlat, the Sharks skated with just 10 forwards for most of the second period.
INJURY REPORT: Logan Couture missed most of the second period with an injury, but returned just before the second intermission and played normal shifts the rest of the way. …Marty Havlat returned from a lower body injury for the first time since Game 1 of San Jose’s sweep of the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference quarterfinals, but was injured again and played just the first period. .. Defenseman Scott Hannan missed a chunk of time in the second period after tripping and sliding into the boards head-first. … Kings winger Justin Williams missed part of the second period as well but returned. … San Jose’s Adam Burish and Jason Demers remain out with injuries. The Kings’ Jarret Stoll missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury.
TEAM STATS: Shots – LA 27, SJ 40. Faceoffs won – LA 32, SJ 35. Giveaways – LA 8, SJ 22.
NEXT UP: Game 4 is Tuesday night at the Shark Tank. Having two days off will give Couture some extra time to heal.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Logan Couture scored a power-play goal 1:29 into overtime to help the San Jose Sharks bounce back from two losses in Los Angeles to beat the Kings 2-1 in Game 3 of their second-round series on Saturday night.
Rookie Tyler Toffoli scored the lone goal for the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, who had won six straight games since dropping the first two in the opening round in St. Louis. Jonathan Quick made 38 saves.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in San Jose.
Two nights after losing 4-3 on a pair of late power-play goals by Los Angeles in Game 2, the Sharks took advantage of their late-game chances on the power play. Tommy Wingels drew a hooking penalty on Robyn Regehr with 41.7 seconds left in regulation, and the task got even more difficult for Los Angeles when Trevor Lewis was called for goaltender interference when he crashed into Niemi with 4.5 seconds remaining.
That gave San Jose a 5-on-3 advantage for the first 1:19 of overtime. The Sharks couldn't convert with two extra men, but got the winner after Regehr came back when Patrick Marleau set up Couture in front.
Couture's first career playoff overtime goal came after he missed most of the second period with an injury when he crashed into the boards. He returned in the final minute of the second and then got the Sharks back into the series.
The Sharks survived a scoreless second period in which they played with a short bench for much of it. Marty Havlat, back for the first time since being knocked out of Game 1 in the first round because of a lower-body injury, left after the first period and didn't return.
Defenseman Scott Hannan missed time early in the period after sliding face first into the boards, and Couture was also out.
Despite having just 10 forwards for most of the period, the Sharks got the better chances with only a sterling pad save by Quick against Andrew Desjardins keeping the game tied at 1 heading into the third.
The sold-out crowd was in a frenzy from the start, hoping to help the Sharks rebound from the late-game collapse in Game 2 in Los Angeles that put them in the 0-2 hole. A disputed delay of game penalty on San Jose led to two late goals that gave the Kings a 4-3 win on Thursday night.
This time, the Sharks were on the positive end of a puck being played into the seats, getting a power play 90 seconds into the game when Jake Muzzin's clearing attempt went over the glass. It took just 4 seconds for San Jose to get its first power-play goal of the series as Joe Pavelski won the faceoff against Anze Kopitar back to Marleau, who fed Boyle for the blast from inside the blue line.
The Kings withstood that early storm, getting the equalizer shortly after killing a second power play midway through the period. Brad Stuart turned the puck over, trying to come out of the defensive zone, right to Toffoli, who skated in and beat Niemi with a backhand to make it 1-1.
NOTES: The Kings made a couple of lineup switches with F Tanner Pearson playing in place of Jordan Nolan, and Keaton Ellerby replacing Alec Martinez, who was on the ice for all three San Jose goals in Game 2. Pearson is the third Kings player ever to make his NHL debut in the postseason. ... The Sharks were fined $100,000 before the game for general manager Doug Wilson's comments Friday criticizing the suspension of F Raffi Torres for the rest of the series for his Game 1 hit that knocked out Jarret Stoll.