The Kings started the scoring in game two. A phenomenal shift from the Kings culminated in a Jake Muzzin shot through traffic that Niemi never saw. Less than two minutes into the game, the Sharks were staring down their first deficit of the 2014 playoffs. Los Angeles had the first four shots of the game, but San Jose rallied back to outshoot the Kings 7-1 over the next five minutes.
Despite the Sharks controlling most of the play following the Kings first goal, Jonathan Quick denied all comers including great saves against Patrick Marleau and Tommy Wingels. As the narrative gods demand, a great save at one end resulted in a nifty goal on the other as a slick pass from Jeff Carter found the stick of Trevor Lewis who deflected it past Niemi to make it 2-0 L.A.
In an effort to further the Mike Brown Is A Valuable Player narrative, the face-punching, goalie-running, former-Oiler received a pass in between the dots and shot one over the right shoulder of Quick to end the shutout. Moments later Jarret Stoll committed a silly penalty to send the Sharks on the man-advantage -- Brown, momentum changer, is well on his way to becoming the series MVP.
The Sharks weren't done trolling yet as Raffi Torres tied the game from almost the identical spot that Brown scored the first tally for San Jose. During a zone entry Torres was left the puck and he slid to the right side of the offensive zone before slapping a shot past Quick before he had a chance to pick it up. Following the Sharks game-tying goal the Kings put the pressure on, establishing that cycle that has made them one of the most fearsome teams in the NHL.
Thankfully for San Jose, American Hero Justin Braun doesn't care about your cycle. Braun's slapshot came from an awful spot on the ice, but it was delivered with enough force (and screened by Tommy Wingels) which got it over the shoulder (sensing a theme?) of Quick. The Sharks had, for the second time in as many nights, scored three goals in 10 minutes of game time.
Things escalated from there as Patrick Marleau gave San Jose the most dangerous lead in hockey less than two minutes into the final period. Matt Nieto created the play and Marleau, just like the three Sharks goal-scorers before him, beat Quick up high to make it 4-2. Then things got funky. A bad change by the Kings defenseman allowed a three-on-one to develop and
Steve Rogers Joe Pavelski made them pay to give the Sharks a three goal lead with 15 minutes left in the third period.
Uh, and then... the Sharks scored again. The Kings defense went to sleep and Logan Couture scored as easily as he's scored...ever? Well, ever in the playoffs? You know the rest. Sharks pooped on the Kings tonight. I have no idea what to expect from game three on Tuesday, but the Kings need to show up for more than one period if they want to have any hope at all of competing in this series.
- Well, shit. Winning these first two games isn't The Series, but the Kings haven't even been competitive. They were outshot 39-26 tonight and it wasn't even THAT close after the first period.
- The real measuring stick will come on Tuesday when the Kings have home-ice advantage, as that proved to be very important in last year's series.
- This game is tied for the Sharks' most lopsided playoff victory with their 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in 2010.
- Mike Brown is going to get a stupid statue built outside of the stupid SAP Center if the Sharks win the stupid cup this year, right? Drew Remenda seems about ready to marry him, which...should tell you everything you need to know.
- Jonathan Quick has not been good in this series, but credit the Sharks for shooting to the scouting report (read: shooting the puck high) and fault the Kings for playing like hot garbage in front of him.
- Six Sharks tallied multi-point games and Joe Pavelski led the way with three.
- Antti Niemi made some great saves tonight. The Sharks are going to need him to be this good if they want to continue this run.
- Or they can average 6.5 goals a game through the playoffs. If they do that, they'll probably be okay.
Shortnormal turnaround for the rest of this series as the series resumes on Tuesday in L.A.
- Mike Brown was the first star at SAP Center tonight. Be safe, everyone.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Joe Pavelski
2nd Star: Patrick Marleau
3rd Star: Mike Brown