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Live Game 6 Blog -- Sharks vs. Kings

by Tony Khing / San Jose Sharks


EPILOGUE: Could this be the biggest goal in Joe Thornton's SHARKS career? This ended the series...and a it was a hard one for the Sharks. There are no "easy" buttons in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The big boost? Killing off McGinn's major penalty. That swung momentum towards the Sharks. San Jose has gone past four exits along 16W.


2:00 -- Sharks kill the penalty.

:46 -- 51 seconds remain in power play for Kings. So far, so good.

QUICK NOTE: As far as overtime is concerned in this series, Games 1 and 3 had extra time and San Jose won each. San Jose has played 28 overtime games in the postseason and is 12-16.
Remember, as we start the first overtime, Los Angeles will have the man advantage for 1:40.


OBSERVATIONS: This penalty kill has been solid for the Sharks. The Kings are getting chances, but San Jose is holding strong. Kings outshoot the Sharks, 11-5, in the third. For the game, San Jose is outshooting Los Angeles, 34-29. Quietly speaking: Ian White has three hits, while Niclas Wallin has four.

20:00 -- The Sharks kill off the first 3:20 of McGinn's major and after regulation, it's 3-3.

19:54 -- Niemi staying cool while the Kings put pressure. Third stoppage of play after a scrum in front of the Sharks net.

19:33 - Dustin Brown drives past Dan Boyle to the net. He gets the puck to the net, but Douglas Murray rams him. Loose puck in front, but the Sharks hold.

16:40 -- Jamie McGinn gets a major and a game misconduct. He rammed Brad Richardson into the boards (and his head banged off the boards). Oh my goodness. 5-on-4 for the remainder of the period.

15:59 -- Penalty killed.

13:59 -- Sharks to go on the power play. Devin Setoguchi gets high sticked in front of the net by Drew Doughty. Kings killed the first two penalties tonight.

11:39 -- Kings score on the rebound in front. Trevor Lewis gets his first. The puck goes off Wallin and Lewis scores. It all started when Jarret Stoll shot the puck from the left point and it hit Wallin. Stoll and Alec Martinez with the helpers. Tie score: Sharks 3, Kings 3.

9:43 -- Jason Demers goes into the box for interference. Just the second penalty by the Sharks tonight.

8:48 -- Boom goes the Heatley! Brad Richardson loses the puck at the blueline, Dany Heatley gets it, skates to the left wing and plays sniper by popping it off the crossbar. Heatley gets his second goal of the playoffs (he got San Jose's first in Game 1). San Jose 3, Kings 2.

QUICK NOTE: Kings are outshooting San Jose, 6-3, in the period. Kings are ourhitting San Jose, 41-30, for the game.

8:01 -- Sharks burn their timeout. Both teams have used their timeouts.

QUICK NOTE: Smyth's goal is the fastest to start a period in Kings playoff history. The record was previously set when the Kings played the Oakland Seals in 1969 by Ted Irvine.

:18 - Oh boy...Kings get the puck into the Sharks zone. Ryan Smyth leaves a drop pass for Jarret Stoll, who shoots at Niemi from the right wing. Niemi makes the save and the rebound is out for Smyth who has crashed the net and gets his second postseason goal. Sharks 2, Kings 2.


OBSERVATIONS: The four-minute penalty kill could've mentally broke the Sharks. Sure, they gave up a goal, but they battled back and have a 2-1 lead. Penalties and penalty kills are times of high tension in a possible series-clinching game. Key performers so far: Thornton has won 64 percent of his faceoffs. So has Couture. Nichol and Clowe have four hits. Pavelski has been solid -- six shots, an assist, three hits and 56 percent in the faceoff circle. So now we have the final 20 minutes of regulation. This will be some of the most exciting hockey you've seen to date. You've got a desperate team (Kings) on one side and another team (Sharks) trying to extend the lead and not do anything to jeopardize what they already have. Take a deep breath, go get something to drink, stretch, whatever...and most of all, enjoy the ride!

20:00 -- Sharks take a 2-1 lead into the locker room. Kings outshoot the Sharks, 15-13, in the period.

QUICK NOTE NO. 2: Rob Scuderi is back on the ice.

QUICK NOTE: We need to give props to Mitchell for his digging work along the boards to get Pavelski the puck. Mitchell had a King all over him and he was still able to loosen the biscuit, which was grabbed by Pavelski and the rest, as they say, is history.

16:52 -- Sharks back up! Joe Paveski got the puck on the left wing and saw Jason Demers going towards the net in the middle and Demers puts the wrister past Quick. Demers gets his second goal of the postseason. Sharks 2, Kings 1. Also give Torrey Mitchell an assist.

QUICK NOTE: Shots are close to even in this period: Sharks 12, Kings 8.

13:27 -- Kings score on the power play. Justin Williams scores on an open net. Jack Johnson had the puck on the left wing, flipped it to Trevor Lewis in the slot. Lewis' shot was saved by Niemi, but the long rebound went to Williams on the right side and he shot it into an open net. Sharks 1, Kings 1. Williams gets his third goal of the postseason.

13:00 -- Sharks get two quick clears. Almost half way through the penalty.

11:42 -- Niemi stops three quick shots, two boomers from the points.

11:13 -- Brad Richardson got a stick in the face. Joe Thornton hit Richardson with his stick, who seems to have lost a tooth. Jumbo is in the box for four minutes. Hang on folks.

QUICK NOTE: Sharks are outshooting the Kings, 25-7. That's not a typo.

10:16 -- Jarret Stoll shoots the puck after the whistle blew for a Kings offside. Marc-Edouard Vlasic takes offense and the two have a little discussion. It's probably nothing, as far as penalties are concerned.

8:49 -- Penalty over.

6:37 - Rob Scuderi took a skate blade from Niclas Wallin to the side of his face. Hope he's okay, but in the meantime Matt Greene goes to the box for delay of game. Sharks back on the power play.

QUICK NOTE: The Sharks love the second period in this series. They've outscored the Kings, 11-7.

6:21 -- The Sharks are still doing the right things. They're attacking the net hard and they aren't letting the Kings touch the puck. 7-2 in shots for the period, Sharks with the advantage.

4:35 -- 4-1 in shots in the period with the Sharks to the good.

2:58 -- Quick is solved!!! Kyle Wellwood flips it over Quick in the slot. Wayne Simmonds tried to stop him from behind, but no dice. Joe Thornton gets the lone assist. Sharks 1, Kings 0. That's Wellwood's first playoff goal, fourth in his career.

2:20 -- Make that 2-for-21. Penalty is over.

:18 -- First penalty of the game. Willie Mitchell takes a seat for slashing Devin Setoguchi's stick out of his hands. Sharks are 2-for-20 on the power play in this series.


OBSERVATIONS: Both teams have been physical. Kings are outhitting the Sharks, 26-16. Los Angeles also has more blocked shots, 9-1. San Jose is winning the faceoff circle, 65 percent to 35. Kudos to Jonathan Quick, who stopped all 16 shots he faced, five by Pavelski, who leads the Sharks. How long can this keep up? No goaltender can be Superman for 60 minutes. The Sharks have done the right things -- especially keeping the Kings from controlling the puck. One interesting thing here: NO ONE SCORED IN THE FIRST PERIOD. Going into tonight, the Kings had outscored San Jose in the first period, 8-1.

20:00 -- After the first 20, there's no score. Sharks are outshooting the Kings, 16-5. We also had no penalties in the period.

:20 -- Interesting stat: the Kings are outhitting San Jose, 24-14. Both teams have been very physical towards each other. San Jose is also getting lots of traffic in front of Quick.

17:02 -- The Sharks have done what they're supposed to do. They are attacking the Kings zone and they aren't letting them keep a contained series in the San Jose end. The shots on goal reflect this: 14-3 in favor of the Sharks. Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks with four shots on goal.

13:05 -- The Kings just took their second shot of the game!

QUICK NOTE: We've said throughout the series that the Kings need to control the puck (or prevent the Sharks from doing the same). The Kings aren't doing that as much. But that Quick fella in the net has 10 saves!!!

10:06 -- Sharks outshooting Kings, 6-1, and have won seven of their 10 faceoffs. Guess who's at Staples tonight? Wayne Gretzky.

5:45 -- My goodness, the Kings fans have plenty of life tonight. "Niemi" and "Sharks suck" chants. Can't recall when Staples Center has heard these kinds of things. Now shots are 2-1 in favor of San Jose. Solid effort on both sides.

QUICK NOTE: Don't expect a lot of penalties early, unless they're for laziness (hook, hold, trip). No team wants to be in a penalty kill situation.

5:37 -- Each team has had their share of early chances. Shots are even, 1-1.

20:00 -- We got our wish and got to hear Davis Gaines sing the national anthem on television. Here we go!

Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Live Game 6 Blog as the San Jose Sharks are at Staples Center to face the Kings.

The keys to victory are indeed very simple. If you’ve been reading and devouring every word from other sites and media, you know what’s about to be said:

STRONG START. It’s not so much the energy (which has been good), but it’s the attention to details that we’re covering here. As Coach Todd McLellan said after Game 5 about Antti Niemi’s performance, “If you look at the goals, the first one was a heck of a deflection,” he said. “(Kyle) Clifford got his stick on it (Wayne Simmonds was credited with the goal). You have to give them that one.

“The second one, he makes a great save on a 2-on-1 that shouldn’t even exist,” McLellan added on the goal scored by Clifford. “If you don’t turn the puck over, the rebound doesn’t go in the net. So I’m not sure you finger the goaltender for that one. On the third one (by Dustin Penner), he’s fairly deep in his net and he knows that.”

What was McLellan saying? Niemi had to take away open space. If a goaltender comes out of the net, he’s giving the shooter less open net to shoot at. He’s cutting down the angle.

THE LITTLE THINGS: So based on the last sentence by McLellan and what we were referring in the previous paragraph, this also applies to the starting goaltender, which will be Niemi. He knows and as he said after Game 5, “I had to be a little more challenging on the third one for sure.”

SOME OBSERVATIONS: Last year, Joe Pavelski made heads spin. This year, the honors go to Ryane Clowe. He’s tied for second in the postseason with his four goals and the seven points ties him for third…Torrey Mitchell has done well, too. Three points in the five games (two assists)…Keep watching Ian White. He was arguably San Jose’s best player in Game 1 before he got hurt and in his four games, he’s got five assists – which tops all defensemen in the second season. He handles the puck very well and can get the offense started.

FOR THE STAT GEEKS: San Jose’s opponents are 12-11 when facing elimination, 7-7 on the road…In Game 6s over the 20-year history of the Sharks, San Jose is 3-13 and 2-9 on the road. Seriously folks, these stats don’t mean a thing. They’re good for conversation, but that’s it. Each year brings a different team with a different set of circumstances. But if you’re looking to chat about something over refreshments, well, there you go.

REFEREES: Dan O’Halloran and Brian Pochmara.
LINESMEN: Shayne Heyer and Jonny Murray.

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