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Kings' season comes to close in 6-3 loss to San Jose

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – Game 5 was a tumultuous one and it proved to be the Kings’ final outing of the season, the team eliminated from playoff contention in their 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday night at STAPLES Center.

A historic campaign that saw the Kings rack up the most regular season wins in franchise history didn't translate into a successful postseason run.

The Kings were haunted yet again by the Sharks’ early offense, as San Jose scored on their first shot of the game for the fourth time this series.

“We were chasing the lead all the time pretty much every game, with the exception of game one when we scored first and we were chasing the lead the rest of the way,” said Anze Kopitar. “You just can’t do that.”

San Jose followed with two more goals to build a 3-0 lead early in the second period.

The game for the Kings at that point looked just about all but over.

However, in an 8:52 minute stretch in the second, the Kings struck for three goals to tie the game.

Anze Kopitar registered the Kings’ first goal of the evening when a Drew Doughty shot ricochet off of Dwight King and off of his shin pad past Martin Jones with 12:16 left in the middle frame.

Less than four minutes later, Jeff Carter got the Kings to within a goal when he received a pass from Jake Muzzin in front of San Jose’s net and spun around beating Jones with a shot high to the glove side.

With just over three minutes to play in the second, Kris Versteeg tied the game when he shoveled home a loose rebound after Kyle Clifford hit the far post with a one-time shot from the point.

Entering the third, the Kings’ comeback seemed to give them the edge momentum-wise, but it was the Sharks who would tack on three goals during the final period, including an empty-netter, to win the game 6-3.

“We never came to the dressing room after a period with a lead and we weren’t able to establish the lead and play with it for the whole series, and we were always playing from behind,” said Milan Lucic. “Plain and simple we weren’t hard enough on their top guys, on their D, or on their goaltender, and we weren’t committed to the little things that it takes to win a playoff series. They blocked more shots than us, beared down on their opportunities more than we did, and that’s why we came out on the losing end of things.”

The Sharks finished the season with a perfect 5-0-0 record against the Kings at STAPLES Center.

Jake Muzzin (2A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Vincent Lecavalier in shots taken (4), Milan Lucic in hits delivered (7), Jamie McBain in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:59). Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the loss.

The Kings will hold exit meetings in the coming days at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.

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