Thornton's OT winner helps Sharks close out KingsApr 26, 2011 - 6:24 AM
The second-seeded Sharks bounced back from Saturday's 3-1 loss to win this Western Conference quarterfinal series 4-2.
Antti Niemi made 26 saves for the Sharks, who are trying to embark on another deep playoff run after making it to the conference finals a year ago. San Jose was swept by Chicago in the third round last year.
Kyle Wellwood, Jason Demers and Dany Heatley also lit the lamp for the Sharks, who won three overtime games in this series.
"LA played extremely hard, they were very well prepared, and their staff did a very good job of preparing their team to play against us," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said. "We don't do anything easy. There is some resiliency in the locker room; the leadership showed through when it had to, the belief in the goaltenders we had was very important."
Trevor Lewis had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who lost three overtime games in a playoff series for the first time since the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals against Montreal (Games 2, 3 and 4).
Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams also scored for Los Angeles, which got 31 saves from Jonathan Quick. In Game 5, Quick made a franchise playoff-record 51 saves.
The Kings had a great chance to break a 3-3 tie at the end of regulation. With 3:23 to play, San Jose's Jamie McGinn slammed Brad Richardson into the boards and was given a major charging penalty and an automatic game misconduct.
Niemi rose to the occasion, making multiple great saves in the final minutes to send the game into overtime.
Los Angeles' five-minute power play carried into the extra session, but the Sharks killed it off.
"That's a critical moment in the game right there; we had a chance to put it away," Kings head coach Terry Murray said. "I thought we did with about 17 seconds left in the game, there was celebration going on, people were throwing their arms in the air. I thought it was over. But again, that's a missed opportunity."
On the game-winner, Devin Setoguchi carried the puck around the net and found himself along the left boards. His pass to the front of the net hit off Patrick Marleau's skate and bounced around. With Quick out of position, Thornton put the puck into the net for the thrilling victory.
"The puck kind of popped out and I was just in front of the net and grabbed it and put it in the open net," Thornton said. "It was a pretty good play whoever shot the puck. I was just in the right place at the right time."
The Sharks drew first blood at the 2:58 mark of the second period. Wellwood took a pass from Thornton and beat Quick with a shot from the slot.
Thornton's mistake led to Los Angeles' first goal. A double minor for high sticking gave the Kings a four-minute power play at the 11:13 mark. Williams jammed home a rebound over two minutes into the man advantage to make it a 1-1 game.
Demers put the Sharks up 2-1 with 3:08 to play in the middle stanza when his snap shot from the right circle beat Quick.
Smyth scored off a rebound just 18 seconds into the third to make it a 2-2 contest.
San Jose went back in front at the 8:48 mark. Heatley stole the puck at the blue line and made his way to the left circle. His snap shot got past Quick.
Lewis' power-play goal made it 3-3 with 8:21 remaining. Jarret Stoll launched a shot from the left point that hit a skate in front, and Lewis was in the right spot to knock in the loose puck.
Los Angeles has come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series just once in its history. That was back in 1989 when the Kings ousted Edmonton in seven games of a division semifinal series...The Kings, who lost to Vancouver in the first round last year, haven't won a playoff series since beating Detroit in the opening round of the 2001 postseason...San Jose has never lost a series when leading three-games-to-one.
- SAN JOSE: 4
LOS ANGELES: 3
Final - OT
Apr 26 1:01 AM
- San Jose Goal - Joe Thornton (2), from Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi at 2:22.
Sharks 4, Kings 3 OT - 17:38Apr 26 1:00 AM
- SAN JOSE: 3
LOS ANGELES: 3
End of Regulation
Apr 26 12:41 AM
- Los Angeles Power-Play Goal - Trevor Lewis, at 11:39.
Sharks 3, Kings 3 3rd - 8:21Apr 26 12:24 AM
- San Jose Goal - Dany Heatley (2), at 8:48.
Sharks 3, Kings 2 3rd - 11:12Apr 26 12:20 AM
- Los Angeles Goal - Ryan Smyth, at :18.
Sharks 2, Kings 2 3rd - 19:42Apr 26 12:02 AM
- SAN JOSE: 2
LOS ANGELES: 1
End of 2nd
Apr 25 11:44 PM
- San Jose Goal - Jason Demers (2), at 16:52.
Sharks 2, Kings 1 2nd - 3:08Apr 25 11:38 PM
- Jack Johnson slap shot on Antti Niemi.
Sharks 1, Kings 1 2nd - 6:35Apr 25 11:30 PM
- San Jose Goal - Kyle Wellwood, at 2:58.
Sharks 1, Kings 0 2nd - 17:02Apr 25 11:09 PM
- SAN JOSE: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Apr 25 10:11 PM
- Hitchcock hedges on lineup for Game 5 vs. Sharks May 23
- Sharks-Blues Preview May 23
- Blues sticking with Allen in Game 5 against Sharks May 22
- Blues beat Sharks 6-3 to even series at 2 games apiece May 21
- Blues hope goalie change can slow down Sharks top line May 21
- Blues-Sharks Preview May 20
- Blues to make goalie change for Game 4 against Sharks May 20
- Blues-Sharks Preview May 20
- BC-AP Sports Preview Digest May 20
- Jones' 2nd shutout gives Sharks 2-1 series lead over Blues May 20
- Hot Tip: Backes excels at deflections for Blues May 19
- Blues-Sharks Preview May 18