Early in the third period, Joonas Donskoi drew a penalty after Jeff Carter hooked him in front of the Kings net, sending San Jose to their second powerplay of the game. Just ten seconds into the man-advantage, Joe Pavelski's shot rebounded right to Thornton at the right post who just got it by the outstretched Jonathan Quick to take the lead for good.
Bearded beauties! pic.twitter.com/Mq5HiDrKE8— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 29, 2016
The Kings opened up the scoring in the first period after Justin Braun shot the puck out of play, resulting in a delay of play penalty. Vincent Lecavalier found the back of the net from the right circle on a shot that deflected off Brent Burns' stick.
Braun would make up for his penalty by scoring his third goal of the season just minutes later. With four white jerseys along the boards, Tommy Wingels worked the puck up to Melker Karlsson who freed it out. Braun, sliding up from the blue line, buried his shot upstairs.
#️⃣6️⃣1️⃣ pic.twitter.com/PrC684yu02— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 29, 2016
San Jose took their first lead of the game midway through the second period as Joe Pavelski deflected a deflection (yes, you read that right) from Tomas Hertl off a blue line shot from Burns. It was Pavelski's 36th goal of the season, one away from tying his total from last season. The goal was briefly credited to Burns, which would have set the franchise single-season record for goals by a defenseman. For another day, I suppose.
A rejuvenated Lecavalier scored his second goal of the game to tie it back up later that period. Taking a pass from Tyler Toffoli, Lecavalier dragged the puck into the right circle after Paul Martin dropped to a knee to block the shot. Lecavalier's shot beat Jones five-hole, giving him his third goal against the Sharks in just two games since being acquired from the Flyers back in January.
Karlsson would add an insurance goal late in the third after Wingels fed him from behind the net, hitting off his skate and sliding under Quick's left blocker. The Situation Room in Toronto reviewed the goal to see if it was kicked in but the goal stood on the ice after further review. Hat tip to referee Wes McCauley on the announcement at center ice. If you saw it, it was, well, dramatic.
With 18 seconds left in the third, Braun scored his second goal into an empty net.
Poor Logan Couture. On his 27th birthday, Quick robbed Couture of two goals in the second period. Couture tried to go five-hole after taking the puck away from the Kings in the neutral zone but Quick had other plans. With seconds left in the period, Quick may have made the safe of the year. Words won't do it justice.
Jonathan Quick does it again pic.twitter.com/XRnNSxNG5c— Greg Balloch (@GregBalloch) March 29, 2016
Just minutes before the game ended, the Sharks clinched a playoff berth as Calgary defeated Arizona. It wouldn't have mattered had the Coyotes won, though, as the Sharks controlled their own playoff destiny.
Sharks goals (assists): Justin Braun (Melker Karlsson, Tommy Wingels), Joe Pavelski (Tomas Hertl, Brent Burns), Joe Thornton (Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns), Melker Karlsson (Tommy Wingels, Roman Polak), Justin Braun (Dainius Zubrus)