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Sharks vs. Kings Game 4: Power play powers Sharks to 3-1 series lead

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Thanks to three goals with the extra man and strong defense down the stretch, the Sharks downed the Kings to take a 3-1 series lead over the Kings.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Three power play goals and a strong defensive effort late in the game propelled the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 win, as they took a 3-1 series lead over the Los Angeles Kings.

The division rivals traded chances in the first period, but entered the dressing rooms at the first intermission with nothing to show for it. The Sharks held a slight territorial edge in the first period, out-shooting the Kings 11-8 and winning the battle of shot attempts, 23-20. San Jose had their best chance when Joe Thornton nearly took advantage of an out of position Jonathan Quick, but the Kings defense prevented the Sharks from reaching the net.

San Jose's power play sprung to life in the middle frame. Just over two minutes in, with the man advantage winding down, Joel Ward slid the puck across the dots to a wide-open Brent Burns. Burns one-timed the puck from one knee past, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

7:12 later, the Sharks doubled their lead, as Joe Pavelski's shot bounced off of Quick's pad into the top shelf. Thornton, as he so often does, set up Pavelski's finish with plenty of time and space behind the net. It may still be Gretzky's office behind the net, but Jumbo is at least the assistant (to the) regional manager.

The Sharks failed to score on a late power play in the second period, but the power play made up for it early in the third period. Patrick Marleau corralled a loose puck, and backhanded off of the post and past a sliding Jonathan Quick to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead.

But as they so often do, the Kings responded quickly. Like, 69 seconds quickly. Trevor Lewis tipped Luke Schenn's point shot from the slot, as the Kings scored on Jones for his first goal of the series, and the Kings' first goal of the night. The Kings would make it two goals in just under four minutes, as Luke Schenn's shot beat Jones with Trevor Lewis on top of him. The Sharks would challenge for goaltender interference, but the goal stood, and the Sharks lead was just one.

The Kings would generate a flurry of chances for the remainder of the period, largely keeping the Sharks hemmed in their own zone. Darryl Sutter pulled Quick with just over a minute-and-a-half left in the period. Quick would return briefly with under a minute to go,after the Sharks blocked a zone entry and forced the Kings offside. Marc-Edouard Vlasic cleared a Jones rebound and iced the puck with 18.3 seconds to go, forcing the Sharks to call timeout, and the Kings would call timeout.

The Kings would win the ensuing face-off, and couldn't get a shot on net. Logan Couture blocked Drew Doughty's last-second shot, and the Sharks hung on for a 3-2 win, and a 3-1 lead in the series.

Sharks goals (assists): Brent Burns (Joel Ward, Marc-Edouard Vlasic), Joe Pavelski (Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau), Patrick Marleau (Logan Couture, Brent Burns)

Fear the Fin Three Stars

1) Martin Jones

2) Brent Burns

3) Luke Schenn