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Kings stave off elimination again, force Game 7 vs. Sharks

Apr 29, 2014 - 6:03 AM Los Angeles, CA ( - Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar each scored twice, Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots and the Kings staved off elimination for the third straight time to force a Game 7 with a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Monday's Game 6 was tied 1-1 with just over eight minutes left before Williams netted his second of the night, digging the puck free from under the pads of San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock, who made his first start of the series in place of Antti Niemi.

The Sharks argued the call, citing that Stalock had the puck covered long enough to induce a whistle, but after a brief huddle, the referees deemed the play unreviewable and the goal stood.

"We got cheated. Simple as that," San Jose head coach Todd McLellan said. "I was told that you could see the puck laying behind (Stalock's) feet the whole time. That is why the whistle didn't go. It's pretty clear when you look at it after. That was obviously the turning point."

Kopitar potted a pair of goals 75 seconds apart shortly after and Quick kept the Sharks off the board the rest of the way, as the Kings became just the ninth team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0 in a series.

"We have been through a lot together and we want to be a team that came back all the way and we want to be the team that says they forced a Game 7," Williams said. "We were able to win it and gave ourselves a chance."

Only three teams have ever came back to win a series after dropping the first three games. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers are the only clubs to have pulled off the monumental comeback.

James Sheppard supplied San Jose's lone goal, while Stalock allowed four goals on 30 shots in the setback. Stalock received the starting nod after Niemi was chased from Games 4 and 5, giving up eight goals on 45 shots in back-to-back losses for the Sharks.

Game 7 is slated for Wednesday in San Jose.

Williams' controversial goal came after Robyn Regehr threw a shot on net from just above the left circle. Stalock appeared to have the puck smothered under his pads, but Williams used his stick to push Stalock backward and dislodge the disc, which squirted across the goal line to give LA a 2-1 lead at 11:56.

The Kings extended the margin just 1:31 later, as a 3-on-2 rush saw Dwight King send a shot on net from outside of the left circle that Stalock padded away, but the rebound ricocheted to the low right side, where Kopitar was waiting to pound it home for a 3-1 lead.

Kopitar drew a hooking minor against Tommy Wingels at 13:56 and buried another rebound from the low right side less than a minute into the man advantage to account for the final margin.

Things got chippy from there, as five players received game misconducts while two others were sent off for fighting over the final six minutes of the tilt.

"I think that is just the nature of the beast when you have a seven game series," LA captain Dustin Brown said of the late scrums. "Not that there was any lack of ill-will toward each other at the start, there was not but the longer you play, the nastier it gets."

Early on, Williams opened the scoring just over 5 1/2 minutes in, as Drew Doughty carried the disc down the left side and into the San Jose zone before stopping on a dime in the low left circle and sliding the puck to the far post for a cutting Williams, who tapped it home for a 1-0 lead at 5:39.

Quick helped the Kings kill off a 5-on-3 early in the second and a high- sticking minor against Doughty later in the middle frame, but Sheppard supplied the equalizer with teams at even strength at 12:26.

Justin Braun rifled a blast from the right point that Sheppard re-directed past Quick to tie the game at 1-1.

Game Notes

The Kings are 12-1-1 in the last 14 meetings with San Jose at home ... Williams has four goals and five points in the last three games ... Kopitar has points in every game this series (three goals, five assists) ... Doughty recorded two assists, giving him six for the series ... San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed the game after sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 5 ... Stalock had stopped all 26 shots he faced in the series coming into the game ... Kings forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were both members of the 2010 Flyers team that stormed back to beat Boston in the conference semifinals after losing the first three games.