Game 73: Kings 5, Sharks 2 (3rd period)

On the first official day of spring, which team’s playoff hopes will take a spring forward? The Kings host the San Jose Sharks, with all the action on Fox Sports West and on 1150-AM and affiliates, with all the game updates here as well…

In goal: It’s still Quick vs. Niemi.
Kings 3, Sharks 1: After a dizzying series of penalties early in the period, Anze Kopitar scored a 4-on-3 goal to give the Kings a two-goal lead. After a scramble. Mike Richards controlled the puck behind the Sharks’ net and centered it toward Kopitar. Kopitar settled the puck for a moment in the slot, then beat Niemi with a wrist shot. Dustin Brown also got an assist.
Kings 3, Sharks 2: The Sharks answered to make it a one-goal game again at the 6:56 mark. The Kings lost coverage on defenseman Dan Boyle, who went to the net. Logan Couture fed a pass across the front of the net to Boyle, who scored on a one-timer. Martin Havlat also picked up an assist.
Kings 4, Sharks 2: The Kings took a two-goal lead again when Dustin Penner scored with 4:01 remaining in the period. Penner took a pass from Slava Voynov, skated to the outer part of the left circle and put a high shot past Niemi.
Kings 5, Sharks 2: Jeff Carter scored an empty-net goal with 15.6 seconds remaining.
End of period: The Kings outshot the Sharks 42-22 and won their season-best fifth consecutive game.

In goal: It’s still Quick vs. Niemi.
Kings 2, Sharks 1: The Kings got the better of the offensive chances for most of the period, and got rewarded with 4:11 remaining. Alec Martinez pinched down to the middle of the left circle, then one-timed Anze Kopitar’s pass past Niemi. Justin Williams also picked up an assist.
End of period: The Kings outshot the Sharks 16-5 in the penalty-free period.

Officials: Ghislain Hebert, Mike Leggo (referees); Don Henderson, Thor Nelson (linesmen).
Lineups: Davis Drewiske, Brad Richardson and Kevin Westgarth are the Kings’ healthy scratches.
In goal: It’s the Kings’ Jonathan Quick against the Sharks’ Antti Niemi.
Kings 1, Sharks 0: The Kings took the lead on Mike Richards’ third shorthanded goal of the season, with 4:12 remaining in the first period. Richards and Jeff Carter started a 2-on-1 break, and Richards kept the puck and, from near the top of the right circle, beat Niemi with a sharp shot to the top far corner. Willie Mitchell picked up an assist.
Kings 1, Sharks 1: The Kings’ lead lasted only 15 seconds, as the Sharks scored on the same power play. Martin Havlat carried the puck into the Kings’ zone and took a shot from the high slot. The shot got blocked, but when directly back to Havlat, who scored on a wrist shot with 4:12 remaining. Brent Burns picked up an assist.
End of period: The Kings outshot the Sharks 12-8 in the period. The Kings went 0-for-1 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill, and scored a shorthanded goal.

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