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Sharks rally to stun Kings 6-5 in OT

by Rick Sadowski
LOS ANGELES – Devin Setoguchi might have known something special could happen Tuesday night after watching a Stanley Cup Playoff commercial on television before his San Jose Sharks met the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.

"It's crazy, but before the game I was looking at the TV," he said. "‘History will be made.' It was about the Kings coming back from 5-0 (in the Miracle on Manchester game against Edmonton in 1982), so it was kind of ironic that we came back from 4-0."

Setoguchi helped the Sharks make some history when he scored at 3:09 of overtime to cap a comeback from a four-goal deficit for a 6-5 win and a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinal series with Game 4 set for here Thursday night.

Setoguchi, the trailer on a 3-on-2 rush, took a pass from Patrick Marleau and fired a wrist shot from the slot past goalie Jonathan Quick for the win.

The Sharks became just the fourth team in playoff history to overcome a deficit of four or more goals –the first since Minnesota rallied to beat Chicago 5-4 on April 28, 1985.

"Patty made a great pass, right on my tape," Setoguchi said. "I got it off as quick as I could. It's definitely a little bit of a confidence booster for us. We can enjoy the win tonight and come to the rink ready to work tomorrow. We need to have better starts, obviously. We need to be a better hockey club to start games.

"You know they're going to be hungry and they're going to be ready to avenge this game in Game 4."

While relieved to have escaped with this unlikeliest of wins, Sharks coach Todd McLellan said his players can't expect a repeat.

"We're excited about it, but we also know that the mulligan we used tonight won't be available to us again," he said. "It's not going to happen again that way."

The Kings, greeted by a raucous standing room-only crowd of 18,216, seemed home free when Brad Richardson intercepted a clearing attempt and beat goalie Antti Niemi, who had lost his stick, 44 seconds into the second period for the 4-0 lead.

"You have to think positive," Setoguchi said. "The second you hang your head and feel sorry for yourself, then it turns into six-, seven-, eight-nothing."

McLellan replaced Niemi, who faced 10 shots, with Antero Niittymaki after Richardson scored, and the Sharks responded with goals by Marleau, Ryane Clowe on a power play that snapped an 0-for-8 drought with the man advantage and by Logan Couture while each team was shy a skater to draw within 4-3.

"All of a sudden the light turned on that we can do it, we can get pucks past this guy," Setoguchi said.

The Kings regained their two-goal advantage when Ryan Smyth, during the same 4-on-4 skating situation, moved to the front of the net to cash in Jarret Stoll's pass from the left circle at 13:47, just 15 seconds after Couture scored.

But the Sharks kept up the pressure and pulled within 5-4 with 1:25 to go when Clowe redirected Dan Boyle's pass into an open net with Quick down and out of position.

Joe Pavelski tied the game 5-5 when he handled Ian White's bouncing pass in the slot while being checked by Drew Doughty and wristed it past Quick with 31 seconds left in the period.

"You see games like this every once in a while, when pucks are going in and for some reason you're scoring a bunch of goals," said Pavelski, who won the series opener in overtime.

Kings coach Terry Murray never wants to see another game like this again.

"That's as bad as it gets in the second period, for sure," Murray said. "We did this to ourselves with our puck management and whatever you want to call it. Turnovers, not getting it in when you're supposed to get it in deep, and trying to do way too much, we get caught out for extended shifts.

"There are guys out there in the second period for 2 1/2 minutes when we couldn't get a line change, especially with our defensemen. So you're exhausted, you're getting rattled, you start doing things that are very odd characteristic and now (the Sharks) are playing the game they want."

The Sharks  vowed in the morning to have a much better start than they did in Saturday's 4-0 loss, but it was the Kings who came out flying and bolted to a 3-0 first-period lead.

Willie Mitchell and rookie Kyle Clifford scored on the Kings' first two shots of the game -- 13 seconds apart, two seconds off the franchise record for the two fastest playoff goals set in 1990.

The Kings then took advantage of a Sharks turnover with time winding down and Michal Handzus scored with 1:32 left in the period to make it 3-0.

"We had nothing to lose, so we started to play loose," McLellan said. "It started to go in our favor and you could feel it on the bench. The more we did it, the more we believed it could happen. It turned out in our favor."

Mitchell opened the scoring at 2:26 of the first period with a shot from the left circle that hit Niemi's glove and dribbled into the net. Clifford picked up his second goal in as many games at 2:39 from just outside the crease, converting a pass from Richardson, who briefly fumbled the puck at the base of the right circle.          

"You might not kind of believe it, but when were down 3-0 and even 4-0, we felt good," Clowe said. "It was completely different from the last game when we didn't deserve to come back. We felt there were a couple breaks on their goals, that 99 percent of the time Nemo would stop those. He's been so strong, it was great to bail him out.

"It would have been easy to fold the tent, but we hadn't scored last game and we just wanted to get that (first) goal. Once we got one, momentum is a strong thing."
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