Somehow, through three games, the San Jose Sharks' power play had only scored twice. Can you believe that? The Los Angeles Kings and their penalty kill had survived so many dangerous chances until tonight.
Until tonight. The Sharks put together four great power plays and scored on three of them, and the Kings (as is the trend) made up alllllmooooost the entire deficit. Let's see some rankings.
Lots of talk about Martin Jones' late trip on Dustin Brown, which defused a dangerous opportunity, but in the playoffs you just can't bank on drawing penalties late. Scoring chances have to be generated. Two Luke Schenn point shots with good traffic in front found their way in, and LA lived and died by those point shots from the defense all night. And hey, the Kings have been successful with their defense firing away throughout the year. Having said that: I'm racking my brain and I can't remember a truly good scoring chance for Kopitar, or Toffoli, or Carter, or Gaborik...
... and San Jose's forwards got good looks. Jonathan Quick made a big save on Patrick Marleau in the first to keep things scoreless, but Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau each finished their chances in the slot in the second. Brent Burns' goal came on an open one-timer which was considerably more dangerous than any chance LA had in the first two periods. San Jose didn't find the net at even strength, but before the game got to 3-0, San Jose consistently looked more likely to score at even strength.
The Kings trail 3-1 in the series, and I'm curious to hear all of your thoughts. What can the Kings do differently, and what are you looking for on Friday night?