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Live Game 4 Blog -- Sharks vs. Kings

by Tony Khing / San Jose Sharks

FINAL THOUGHTS: Antti Niemi made some great saves early in the game that gave San Jose a little momentum and the ball kept on rolling. It should be interesting on Saturday in San Jose for a potential series-clincher.

20:00 -- That's all folks!!! Sharks now take a 3-1 lead in the series as they beat the Kings 6-3.

19:37 -- Niemi makes a save and Kevin Westgarth decides to plow into Niemi. Westgarth is done and the fans are headed out the door at Staples to fight the freeways. Westgarth gets a two and a 10. The two is for charging.

19:15 -- Wayne Simmonds goes off the ice on a 10-minute misconduct.

19:00 - Quick still in the net. Penalties over. Kings are now 0-for-6 on PP.

18:10 -- Kings have the two-man advantage and Quick is still in the net.

17:55 -- Doughty fires one from up high and Niemi makes a solid save.

17:01 -- Oh oh...Dan Boyle is going to the box. And again, Nichol and Doughty are having a friendly conversation. Boyle is in for cross-checking. Nichol is done for regulation. He gets a 10-minute misconduct. Either way, the Kings have a two-man advantage.

16:46 -- Dany Heatley goes to the box for tripping.

16:29 -- Like we mentioned earlier in the period, don't count out the Kings. Sure, being three down with less than four minutes left in regulation presents quite the challenge. But San Jose can't make any defensive mistakes.

15:09 -- Sharks call a timeout.

13:11 -- Kings score as Jack Johnson fires a slapper from the left point. It's 6-3 San Jose. The Sharks had four men collapse in front of Niemi.
Alexei Ponikarovsky got a piece of the puck and he gets the goal, his first of the playoffs. Trevor Lewis and Johnson get the helpers.

11:42 -- It's now 6-2 San Jose. Kyle Wellwood fires a shot from the right point. It's deflected in front and Torrey Mitchell grabs the loose puck and puts it in the net. Give Ian White the second assist. Mitchell gets his first of the postseason.

QUICK NOTES: Joe Paveslki leads the Sharks with five shots. Dan Boyle has four.

10:43 -- The crowd at Staples is fired up. Just don't count out the Kings. They're three goals down, but still...

9:00 -- Sharks kill the penalty.:

6:42 -- Sharks to go to the box when play resumes. We said this was a critical period for the Sharks and to be able to build a three-goal lead is huge. The momentum is back on the side of the Sharks. How about Kyle Wellwood? That guy sees the ice really well. He had two guys on him behind the Kings net, but he was able to see Thornton cutting up the middle. Wellwood got him the puck and Thornton scored. As for the penalty, Setoguchi is in the box for goaltender interference. Kings 0-for-3 on PP.

3:22 -- Joe Pavelski gets a tap on a puck in the slot and puts it in the net. Sharks 5, Kings 2. Pavelski won the faceoff and the Sharks kept the puck in the Kings zone. Pavelski scores his third of the postseason. One assist goes to Dan Boyle.

2:38 -- You have to get those loose pucks and Joe Thornton did just that. Kyle Wellwood had two men on him behind the net. He passes the puck to Thornton in the slot and the Captain gets his first goal of the playoffs. Besides Wellwood, Patrick Marleau will get the second assist. Sharks 4, Kings 2.

QUICK NOTES: Only one goal has been scored in the third period ruing this series. And by the way, this is a critical period for the Sharks.


COMMENTS: Talk about the Terrible Twos...For the second consecutive game, the second period has been full of drama. San Jose is working hard, but those darn Kings keep on coming. They have some momentum. They outshot San Jose, 17-10, in the period. Did you notice that Scott Nichol took Torrey Mitchell's spot on the line with Joe Pavelski and Kyle Wellwood? And did you notice how Nichol and Drew Doughty became "close" friends during the period? Pavvelski leads the Sharks with four shots. Brad Richardson leads the Kings with five shots.

20:00 -- Sharks end the period up, 3-2.

16:23 -- Sharks in the box. Ian White in for a trip. But they kill the penalty.

16:04 -- Oh boy. Justin Williams gets the puck in the neutral zone from Willie Mitchell. Williams drives the left wing and gets the puck to Ryan Smyth, but it looked like Marc-Edouard Vlasic may have knocked in the puck. Vlasic had tied up Smyth's stick. It doesn't matter. It's now a one-goal game, 3-2, San Jose.

CORRECTION: Scoring change now gives the goal to Justin Williams. Mitchell gets the lone assist. That's his second goal.

QUICK NOTES: For the firsrt time in this series, the score was tied after the first 20 minutes. Sharks being outshot by the Kings, 10-9, so far.

14:15 -- Sharks just get one shot as the PP ends.

12:14 -- Justin Williams trips up Douglas Murray. Williams goes to the box. Sharks 1-for-4 on the PP tonight.

11:49 -- Well, maybe the off-ice officials will get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome after all. So, four goals in the second period. The Sharks can't let the Kings gather any momentum after Richardson's goal. We'll also see how Alec Martinez recovers from two mistakes: knocking the puck into his own net and not being able to clear the puck when Clowe scored his second goal. Martinez is one of the Kings promising young blueliners. The effort has been solid for San Jose in this period.

11:00 -- Brad Richardson knocks the puck into the net. Niemi got a glove on it, but his glove...and the puck...was over the goal line. Sharks 3, Kings 1. Richardson gets his second goal of the postseason.
Ryan Smyth gets the lone assist. Richardson was to the right of the net and got the loose puck and hit it in. That's his second postseason goal.

9:28 -- Sharks power play gets a goal. Ian White fires puck to the net, Logan Couture gets the initial rebound and Ryane Clowe bangs home the loose puck. San Jose 3, Los Angeles 0. Clowe gets his second goal of the game, fourth of the postseason. Couture has two assists tonight, too.

12:00 -- Halfway through the four-minute PP. Kings holding strong.

6:00 -- There's rumbling in the kingdom. Matt Greene gets called for a double-minor on a high stick to Scott Nichol. Kings PK gets its second essay test of the night.

5:12 -- Jason Demers scores as he takes a backhand pass from Logan Couture. Both goals have come with the sides 4-on-4. Dany Heatley started things with a pass from the right wing to Couture, who was coming up the middle. Couture took the shot and grabbed the rebound. By the way, he grabbed the rebound away from Alec Martinez. Demers with the goal, Couture and Heatley get the helpers. San Jose 2, Los Angeles 0.

3:48 -- Alec Martinez tries to clear the puck out of the crease, but instead he knocks the puck into an open net. Ryane Clowe closest to the puck. He gets credit for the goal. Sharks 1, Kings 0. Give an assist to Marc-Edouard Vlasic. And to think this came after the Kings put a solid attack on the Sharks.

3:14 -- Drew Doughty and Scott Nichol exchange shoves in the neutral zone and both will go to the penalty box. At least Nichol got their No. 1 D-man out for a few minutes. Both called for roughing and we'll skate 4-on-4.

1:31 -- Here we go again. Kings keeping puck in Sharks end.


COMMENTS: Good effort on both sides. Give Quick and Niemi credit for playing solid in their nets. Sharks are outshooting the Kings, 13-9. Faceoffs are even with each side winning nine. Ian White leads San Jose with three shots. Key points of the period: the big penalty kill for the Kings and San Jose holding strong while the Kings held the puck for a good chunk of the latter part of the period. Just a gut feeling, but the off-ice officials won't be banging on their lap tops like crazy to keep track of all of the goals...

20:00 -- The first 20 down and there's no score.

QUICK NOTES: The Kings have been keeping the puck in the Sharks end plenty in the latter half of the first period. That's what they want to do.

18:29 -- Joe Thornton grabs a loose puck on the left wing in the Kings end, passes cross-ice to Marleau on the right wing, but his one-timer is nabbed by Quick.

16:15 -- Sharks kill the penalty. Solid effort.

14:13 -- Ian White is going to get called for a trip on Dustin Brown, who was driving to the net on Niemi. 5-on-3, for 13 seconds. But the Sharks clear the puck out of the zone.

13:30 -- Sharks very aggressive on the penalty kill. They haven't been bashful going after the puck in the Kings end.

QUICK NOTES: It looks like both teams have a wee bit of chippiness. There's been some good hitting and a lot of chirping. Give the Kings credit for a solid penalty kill. Give kudos to the Sharks for being strong on defense, namely Antti Niemi.

12:26 -- Antti Niemi makes a sliding save on Wayne Simmonds. As we go to the TV timeout, the Sharks will be on the PK. Dan Boyle goes to the box for a hook.

10:37 -- Kings kill both penalties. Sharks got seven shots on the 5-on-3 power play.

10:00 -- Now Sharks down to one-man advantage. Drew Doughty looked like he cross-checked Devin Setoguchi behind the Kings net.  If he did, the officials didn't think so.

9:31 -- Give Jonathan Quick and the Kings defense a lot of credit. Less than 30 seconds left in the two-man advantage and they're holding strong.

8:34 -- Matt Greene now goes to the penalty box. Sharks on a 5-on-3.

7:56 -- Kings to get whistled for a penalty at the TV timeout. In the early going, Niemi has held his ground with some solid saves as the Kings cycled and attacked hard. Sharks outhitting the Kings, 10-5. Jason Demers had a good hit on Dustin Brown at the Sharks blueline. Demers physical play has picked up over the last month-plus. Brown went to the box.

4:30 -- Kings get their first shot on goal by Dustin Brown. Sharks already have two.

2:37 -- Sharks fourth line getting some love. They're in.

2:23 -- In the early going, the Sharks are keeping the puck in the Kings end. This belies what the Kings want to do: keep the puck away from the Sharks.

10 - San Jose has won the first two faceoffs tonight. Good start.


Hello everyone and welcome to tonight’s live blog for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings.

First off: have you recovered yet from the (pick one) Stunner at Staples, Shocker at Staples, Fiasco on Figueroa? You can relive the moments on the web site and there’s a story about the other three playoff games where a team has rallied from four goals down to win.

After that, if you’re still an emotional wreck, snap out of it. Today’s a new day. As Coach Todd McLellan said to the media yesterday, “We’re going to feel pretty good about ourselves because of the comeback. As a coaching staff, we have to remind them that there were 21 minutes played early in the game when we weren’t very good.”

It’s all about balance. One can be sure the Sharks will put Tuesday’s insanity behind them and the veteran leadership in the Kings room will remind their teammates to do the same. Remember, we’ve only passed two exits on 16W. There’s 14 more to go! Like the doctor says at your physical, “Breathe deeply.”

As for tonight…Antti Niemi will be in goal for San Jose. Not too much of a surprise actually, but when he got relieved by Antero Niittymaki after surrendering that fourth goal on Tuesday, the notepads and microphones had to ask the question.

One wonders if McLellan will make some changes to the fourth line. He didn’t like what he saw from Scott Nichol, Jamal Mayers and Ben Eager. The trio combined for 6:45 of ice time and a minus-6. They were on the ice for two of the Kings three goals in the first period. Nichol did get more time later in the game, as handled some faceoffs.

FROM THE STAT GEEKS: San Jose is 14-10 overall in Game 3s, 7-7 away from Silicon Valley.

REFEREES: Dennis LaRue and Kelly Sutherland.
LINESMEN: Scott Driscoll and Brad Kovachik

Last note: hopefully the CSN California telecast catches all of Davis Gaines singing the national anthem before tonight’s game at Staples. He’s got a great voice, but we only heard part of it on Tuesday. Long time Sharks fans remember Dennis Leach from the early years at Spectacular San Jose Arena (the name before HP Pavilion). Gaines is definitely in his league.

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