Kings forward Tyler Toffoli grimaces in pain after colliding with Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic during the third period of a game on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings forward Jeff Carter scores against the Sharks during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at Staples Center on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and forward Tyler Toffoli hang their heads after allowing a third period goal to Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings forward Trevor Lewis misses a chance to put the puck on the net as Sharks defenseman Roman Polak knocks it away during the first first period of a game on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Sharks forward Jonas Donskoi scores a third period goal against the Kings during a game at Staples Center on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings forward Dustin Brown knocks the stick away from Sharks forward Nick Spaling during the first period of a game on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Sharks forward Chris Tierney high fives teammates after scoring a first period goal against the Kings in Game 5 of the first round playoff series on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A pregame light show takes place before Game 5 of the Kings and the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center on April 22.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A few more takeaways before the Kings move on -- not to the second round, but to a long spring and summer of off-season issues after a first-round loss to San Jose.
Inability to establish a lead
Too often in the series, the Kings gave up goals early. In five games, they ended up leading for just four minutes and two seconds of play.
Psychologically, it meant that just about every night they were chasing the game instead of playing with the lead, something they usually do quite well.
The Kings were already thin on the back end. Those holes were exposed even more when Alec Martinez couldn’t make it through Game 1 and was out the rest of the series.
It turned out he was dealing with an injured groin, suffered late in the regular season.
“You can’t use injuries as an excuse,” Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said. “But when you’re evenly matched, when you look at it, they [the Sharks] get [Marc-Edouard] Vlasic back and we lose Marty [Alec Martinez] you’re losing the top end of your defense.”
Demons sent packing
“I haven’t been around here for some of the things that have gone on in the past,” DeBoer said. “I’m sure, for some of the guys, they felt like they exorcised some demons tonight.”
The Sharks’ Logan Couture had insisted, as recently as Friday’s morning skate, that 2014 was “put to rest” once the season ended. That didn’t sound like the case after the Sharks clinched this series.
He told reporters that he had viewed some of the post-2014 comments from the Kings as “disrespectful,” adding, “so it was nice to stick it back to them and beat them in this series.”
Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter @reallisa