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Two-game deficit built in Kings' 2-1 loss to Sharks

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES – The Kings have dug themselves into a hole with their 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Saturday night at STAPLES Center, falling behind two games to none in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

It was a frustrating night for the Kings on the offensive end, the team registering just eight shots by the midway mark of the game, failing to challenge Martin Jones or develop secondary chances.

“We’re beating ourselves out there,” said Marian Gaborik. “We have to correct a lot of things. We didn’t generate a whole lot of scoring chances. We have to have [Martin] Jones work way more than he’s been working. We had a pretty good surge at the end there but it was too late. We have to regroup, go to San Jose, and come back with a tied series.”

The Kings have dropped all four of San Jose’s visits to STAPLES Center this season; the Sharks finished the campaign as the NHL’s best road team.

San Jose, however, struggled on home ice at SAP Center during the year, finishing with an 18-20-3 mark in their building, something the Kings will try to key-in on Monday night.

The Kings’ comeback from three games down in the 2014 Western Conference Quarterfinal to the Sharks has been brought up numerous times, but the Kings know it’s far from anything they can hinge on.

“It’s a completely different situation,” Anze Kopitar said. “Our mindset’s got to be to go out there and win the next game and just build off that. That’s where we’re putting in our heads tonight, we’re going to prepare tomorrow and we’re going to go up there and be better.”

San Jose scored on their first shot of the night for the second time this series, and once again, it came off the stick of Joe Pavelski, who beat Jonathan Quick with a shot high to the glove side 3:37 minutes into the contest.

Logan Couture upped the Sharks’ lead to two when he buried a loose rebound while San Jose worked on a five-on-three power play 8:44 minutes into the second.

Vincent Lecavalier brought the Kings back to within a goal with 5:01 remaining in reguiation when he swatted home a loose puck amidst a scrum in front of the Sharks’ crease on the teams’ fifth and final power play of the night.

The Kings pulled Jonathan Quick for an extra attacker during the final moments of the game, but were unable to connect for a game-tying goal.

The Kings are 3-10 in best-of-seven series’ when they trail 0-2, they are 18-26 all-time in Game 3’s of a series.

Jake Muzzin (1A), Vincent Lecavalier (1G) and Tanner Pearson (1A) led all Kings players in points scored (1), Jeff Carter in shots taken (6), Dustin Brown in hits delivered (9), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (5), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:15). Jonathan Quick made 21 saves in the loss.

The Kings will travel to San Jose on Sunday afternoon to continue their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Sharks for Game 3 at the SAP Center on Monday night, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.

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