After besting their rivals in two one-goal post-season games, it was the San Jose Sharks who were dealt a narrow defeat on home ice in Monday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
Los Angeles’ Tanner Pearson snapped a scoring drought that had lasted since midway through the first with a fast-break wrister in the third minute of overtime, abruptly halving the Sharks series lead at the end of a brutal slugfest with 100 total hits.
Defenseman Justin Braun said:
“They were just competing and battling and got one more bounce than us at the end of the night. It’s going to be like that the whole series.”
Joe Thornton said:
“I just (thought) sling it to the net. I didn’t know if it hit Tommy Hertl or their guy, but I just wanted to climb through and sling it to the net.”
After surviving an early surge of Sharks offense and a power play chance, the Kings capitalized on a man-up advantage of their own to even the score later in the first. Los Angeles’ Milan Lucic scooped up a juicy rebound from Sharks goalie Martin Jones and slipped the puck through traffic to Anze Kopitar, who netted the equalizing score.
The Sharks failed to score on six separate power play opportunities, but generated an encouraging number of chances according to Head Coach Peter DeBoer.
DeBoer commented on the Kings penalty kill:
“You have to give them some credit – they blocked some shots, Quick made some big saves when he needed to. We were organized, we threw a lot of pucks to the net, we had a lot of zone time, we had some good looks. They didn’t go in tonight, we’ve got to stick with it.”
The series has thus far reflected the Sharks tendencies of tough home and stellar road play, but Deboer doesn’t discriminate when it comes to win locations.
“I could care less where we win the games. We played well enough to win the game tonight. We out-shot them and out-chanced them. We didn’t win.”
San Jose returns to The Tank on Wednesday when the team will look to extend its series lead to a more comfortable 3-1.