When have the
Blown out of the first two games of their playoff series against San Jose, their season on the line after they lost the third game in overtime, the Kings on Monday clawed their way back to even footing with the stumbling
A three-goal third period, triggered by
"All the experts said we'd be playing a Game 7. They said that before the series started," said Kings goaltender
"So obviously it's a little unconventional how we got here, but we're here."
"Going into a series, I don't think either team or anybody watching the series would have thought this would be how the events and the games went," Kings captain
The first signs the Kings still had life appeared in the third game, a 4-3 overtime loss at home. Their big players, the ones instrumental in their 100-point season and in contributing to the NHL's best defensive team, began to play big.
"Once your big guys kind of start going, it gets the team into sync a little bit more and everyone can fill the role that they need to fill," Brown said.
Gaborik scored twice in the 6-3 victory in Game 4 that enabled the Kings to stave off elimination the first time. Williams scored twice in that game, too. Another positive sign was a goal by rookie right wing Tyler Toffoli, the game-winner in that contest. When he duplicated that in Game 5, a 3-0 victory at San Jose, the Kings gained new, greater depth that the Sharks couldn't defend.
The Kings' formula was slightly different Monday in Game 6. They scored early and got the crowd involved when Williams redirected a perfectly timed pass from
"Halfway through I was checking the scoreboard for how much time we had, and it was quite a bit of time," he said. "At that point you're just trying to get in the shooting lanes and not give them the opportunity to pass it through our triangle, and I thought Drew and [
San Jose tied it at 1-1 while at even strength, but Williams' goal, at 11:56 of the third period, withstood a video review and put them ahead. Kopitar, with a pair of goals 1:15 apart, clinched it.
All of which takes them back to San Jose, which doesn't intimidate them.
"We've won there plenty of times over the years. We didn't need Game 5 to prove that we could win there. We knew that," Quick said. "We needed Game 5 to be able to play Game 6.
"It's zero-zero. A 60-minute game. That's it."
Kopitar said the Kings must now play their best game against the Sharks. "I'm pretty sure they're going to be fired up. The building's going to be loud and we're going to have to be ready for it," he said.
The only surprise now would be if they're not ready for a shot at history and a playoff encounter with the Ducks.