Sharks slam Kings in Game 2 slaughter

SAP CENTER — It was so quiet at the start of the second period in Sunday’s Sharks-Kings game, you might have thought the power had gone out again and that the sound system wasn’t working.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

With Jonathan Quick on his game— at least for the first 20 minutes — the Sharks found themselves in the hole to start off start Game 2.

But in a re-energized second period, the Sharks jolted life back to the home crowd and brought the noise level to deafening heights in the Easter evening special.

Team Teal’s offensive depth shined through in a massive come-from-behind victory as they slaughtered the white-sweatered SoCal boys 7-2.

The turning point for the offense was arguably head coach Todd McLellan changing up the lines entering the second period by moving Joe Pavelski to third line center, and Tomas Hertl up to the Joe Thornton-Brent Burns line.

McLellan addressed the changes and how they factored into the win:

“(The Kings) had us running around a little bit with some of the line matchups. They obviously scrambled it and I didn’t like the way it was going in our end, we needed something else, and I decided to make that change… You need that to have success. Success is only two games. We have got a lot left but you need to have everybody ‘stirring the drink’ if you will.”

LA put on the pressure right from the opening faceoff and Jake Muzzin bounced the puck through traffic and past Antti Niemi’s glove to put the Kings up 1-0 at 1:51 in the opening stanza. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar tallied assists.

Trevor Lewis added to the Kings’ lead with a nasty tip-in that Niemi appeared to not see. With that, the Sharks skated into the dressing room after 20 minutes in a 2-0 hole.

According to Logan Couture, the Sharks weren’t worried by being down two goals after 20 minutes:

“Nobody panicked, the coaching staff, the players, everyone, we knew that if we kept playing the way we were playing that we would score some goals…”

They didn’t score “some goals.” They scored seven goals. Unanswered. Against one of the toughest goaltenders in the league.

San Jose’s fourth line came into the second period with an extra jolt of energy, putting a flurry of shots on net and keeping the puck in enemy territory.

Andrew Desjardin set up Mike Brown for a one-timer that eluded Quick’s block, putting SJ on the board 2-1 and bringing the home crowd to its feet.

The crowd got even louder when Desjardins set up Torres for a beautiful snap shot up high over Quick’s shoulder to knot the tilt up 2-2.

Brown gave his two cents on the fourth line’s role in Sunday’s game:

“Every time we step on the ice, that’s our role, to get the momentum and bring the physicality into the game. So regardless if we are up or down, we are still going to play the same way.”

Pressure continued to mount in front of LA’s net, but Quick wasn’t ready for Justin Braun’s long shot from the side boards that lined through traffic and hit the net up high. James Sheppard and Joe Pavelski notched assists as San Jose took their first lead of the evening 3-2.

The Sharks’ second line got in on the offensive action to open up the third frame. Couture found Matt Nieto, who in turn set up Patrick Marleau in the paint and beat Quick to widen the lead 4-2.

LA continued to lose steam, and San Jose continued to capitalize. In the middle of a bad line change by the Kings, Joe Pavelski skated in alone and beat Quick for his first goal of these playoffs. Tommy Wingels and Dan Boyle registered assists.

Couture wanted his first goal of the playoffs as well, and wristed in a shot from the right faceoff circle to increase the lead 6-2. His linemates, Marleau and Nieto, pitched in as helpers.

The Kings tried shifting the momentum by starting a scrum near their own net, but ended up on the short end of a five-on-three and Joe Thornton got the opportunity to beat Quick himself. Pavelski and Boyle tallied assists on the goal that solidified San Jose’s 7-2 advantage.

Any words from fearless leader Thornton on so many players contributing to the win? The captain said:

“It’s going to take all 20 guys that suit up. And we realized that and where we want to go everybody is going to have to be a leader throughout the playoff.”

The San Jose Sharks will now travel behind enemy lines to face the LA Kings at Staples Center on Tuesday and Thursday.

Should the series go to five games, teams will return to San Jose to play Saturday with puck drop  scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Notes

Seven goals is a new playoff record for most goals at home for the Sharks. They also tied their record for most goals for in a period with four. … Marc-Edouard Vlasic now ranks 3rd on the Sharks all-time playoff games list with 81 games played. He surpassed former Sharks teammate, Evgeni Nabokov.


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