A valiant comeback effort in the third period fell just short for the Kings in their 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 Wednesday night at the SAP Center.
The Kings must now stave off elimination to maintain their postseason lives.
Wednesday night’s story was the Sharks’ power play, which converted to score all three of San Jose’s goals. It was a completely different tale told than the one in Game 3, when the Kings held the Sharks scoreless on the man advantage in winning their only game of the series thus far.
After a scoreless first period which saw the Kings stay out of the penalty box, San Jose struck for two goals in the second as the Kings killed off their first two penalties of the evening.
Brent Burns gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead 2:09 minutes into the second when he beat Jonathan Quick with a one-time shot from the top of the left circle. Joe Pavelski upped the Sharks’ lead to two 9:21 into the middle frame when he beat Quick with shot from the slot.
Early in the third, Patrick Marleau gave San Jose a 3-0 lead with a backhand shot as the Kings scrambled to kill off their fourth penalty of the evening.
The Kings clawed back, scoring two quick goals to inch back to within one, both plays initiated by defenseman Luke Schenn.
In desperation mode, with the Kings simply looking to get shots on net, Schenn fired a slap shot from the point which redirected off of Trevor Lewis, who was stationed right above Martin Jones’ crease, and into the net.
Moments later, and with just over 13 minutes left in regulation, Schenn controlled a pass from Anze Kopitar atop the point and fired a wrist shot through traffic that found its way past Jones.
The Kings pulled Jonathan Quick in favor of an extra attacker in the waning moments of the third but were unable to connect for a game-tying goal.
The Kings are 2-11 all-time in best of seven series outcomes when trailing three games to one.
Luke Schenn (1G, 1A) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Jake Muzzin in shots taken (4), Jake Muzzin in hits delivered (7), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (5), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (30:33). Jonathan Quick made 26 saves in the loss.
The series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 5 Friday night when the Kings host the San Jose Sharks at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.