The view from San Jose - LA Kings Insider


David Pollak: Kings beat Sharks 4-1, force Game 7

Now the Sharks face the possibility of becoming only the fourth NHL team to lose a playoff series after taking the first three games. And the fact San Jose won the first two by a combined 13-5 margin only makes that development more puzzling.

The disputed goal by Williams was the first of three during a span of 2:46 that quickly ended any San Jose thoughts of forcing overtime. It was Williams’ second of the night, with Kings center Anze Kopitar potting the next two to spoil what had been a strong first playoff start for Stalock.

Mark Purdy: Sharks need to reboot, and quickly

Welcome to a best-of-one, Wednesday night at SAP Center.

And it would be helpful if some of the Sharks’ top scorers from the regular season managed to put some pucks on the net in that one. Stalock, who replaced Antti Niemi in the net Monday, wasn’t the sole reason the Sharks lost. Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have been way too quiet in the last two games.


Kevin Kurz: Rewind: McLellan: Sharks ‘got cheated’ in Game 6 loss

Los Angeles piled on after the controversial ruling, taking advantage of a seemingly deflated Sharks club that will now try and avoid becoming just the fourth NHL team to ever lose a best-of-seven series when ahead three games to none. Anze Kopitar put the game away with two more scores in the third, one on a three-on-two rush and another on a power play.

…Stalock was the main focus leading up to the game, when it was announced on Monday morning he would be making his first career playoff start in place of a wobbly Antti Niemi. He allowed Williams to score in the first period on a dandy pass from the corner by Drew Doughty after Justin Braun didn’t pressure the defenseman enough, but recovered to make some key stops later in the opening frame.

Kevin Kurz: Sharks’ Thornton has run-ins with Brown, Quick

Quick has acted borderline foolishly several times during the first round series, including a pair of dives with Mike Brown around the crease, and a laughable moment in Game 3 when he grabbed Logan Couture’s leg and wouldn’t let go when the Sharks forward was in front of the net.

Riling up the goaltender isn’t an uncommon occurrence, according to his teammates.


Corey Masisak: Kings win third straight, force Game 7 against Sharks

Kopitar scored on the rebound of a Williams shot at 13:27 and again on the power play at 14:42 to complete the three-goal surge. Williams now leads the Kings with four goals in this series and Kopitar has a team-high eight points.

The Kings are the ninth team in NHL history to force a seventh game after trailing a series 3-0. Three teams have come back to win a Game 7 after losing the first three games. Most recently, the Philadelphia Flyers won four straight to win a seven-game series against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, a Flyers team which featured current Kings forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. They would be the first players to ever do it twice.

Curtis Zupke: Sharks must regroup after third straight loss to Kings

“Obviously we didn’t respond very well,” McLellan said. “At that point, with seven minutes left, you open it up a little bit, and two or three shifts later we’re caught pinching. We give up an outnumbered rush. It’s not completely over, but it’s looking pretty gloom. They’re a tough team to play against when they have the lead, and you try to open it up and they make you pay for it. You’ve got to play even or you’ve got to play ahead. Our take-home value of it will be to that seven or six-minute mark. After the goal, we’ll call it … we have to respond better.”

McLellan and the Sharks argued that Stalock had the puck secured under his pad and that Stalock was pushed by Williams. McLellan said he was told by officials that the puck was lying behind Stalock’s feet the whole time and therefore didn’t warrant a whistle.


The Neutral: Sharks lose again, series somehow headed to Game 7

There isn’t much else to say about tonight’s game, apart from that it ended up serving as the in-hindsight-inevitable precursor to the Sharks either making history in the worst way imaginable or moving on to a second-round series against Anaheim. That overshadows everything that actually transpired on the ice, which was an extremely tightly-contested game until Justin Williams’ second goal of the night broke a 1-1 tie with a little over eight minutes remaining in the third period. After a regular season in which the Sharks repeatedly had goals waived off thanks to the dubious “intent to blow” rule, they were intent-to-blown once again as Williams poked a loose puck free from between Alex Stalock’s pads after the Sharks goaltender appeared to have frozen it.

It was a controversial goal to be sure but the Sharks just fell apart at the seams afterwards. A poorly-timed line change gave the Kings a 3-on-2 on which Anze Kopitar capitalized before adding another goal on a subsequent power play. And while San Jose controlled the second period, particularly in the aftermath of James Sheppard’s tying marker on a deflection midway through, it was all Los Angeles in the third as the Kings team we saw throttle the Sharks in Game 5 were back to their old tricks, making it impossible for San Jose to generate any type of speed coming through the neutral zone.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.