Sharks draw first blood as Joe Pavelski scores twice in 4-3 win over Kings
The highlight package between the Kings and San Jose Sharks on Thursday night was something you usually see at the end of a hard-fought playoff series with an overlay of sweeping music.
There was often-brilliant goaltending, plenty of hard hitting, own goals, goal-saving stands and savvy playmaking from unlikely sources. All that, and plenty of momentum changes.
Cut, print and move on.
Game 1 between the longtime rivals lived up to the hype. San Jose twice rallied from deficits, scoring the final two goals to defeat the Kings, 4-3, in the opener of the first-round Western Conference series at Staples Center.
The game-winner came from Sharks captain Joe Pavelski only 17 seconds into the third period as he beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on a wraparound. It was Pavelski’s second goal of the game.
That’s the simple description.
The Kings iced the puck in the opening seconds of the third period to set up the faceoff back in their own zone. Pavelski then won the draw cleanly against Kings center Anze Kopitar in the right circle, setting the stage for his game-winner.
“I was just able to spin off from there at the last second,” Pavelski said. “As I grab it, it kind of pops up on edge and sticks to my stick there a little bit and it allows me to swing around a little bit quicker. I didn’t know it went in, to be honest.
Kings winger Andy Andreoff tries to deflect the puck past Sharks goalie Martin Jones as he is covered by defenseman Brenden Dillon during the third period on Thursday.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings forward Andy Andreoff (15) wrestles with Sharks center Joe Pavelski as goalie Jonathan Quick tries to focus on the puck during the second period.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings center Vincent Lecavalier fires a shot past Sharks defenseman Roman Polak but wide of the goal in front of goalie Martin Jones during the first period.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stops the shot of Sharks center Tommy Wingels during the second period of Game 1.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings players celebrate a first period goal by Jake Muzzin as Sharks goalie Martin Jones stands alone with his thoughts in Game 1.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings defenseman Alec Martinez gets an eye-level view of the puck against the Sharks in the second period.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Kings winger Kris Versteeg is upended by Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon during the first period of Game 1.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Sharks players celebrate a goal by center Tomas Hertl as Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stands nearby during the second period of Game 1.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
“I heard it hit the post. I see one guy’s arm going up. I see Quicker reaching behind him. I’m like ‘Oh, God, it might have hit the post. It might be laying there.’ We’ll have to get back to work. And it’s a goal.”
Game 2 is set for Saturday night at Staples Center. Perhaps it will settle down a bit after a roller-coaster start to the series.
This was the first playoff game between the Kings and Sharks since they met in the opening round in 2014, in which the Kings rallied from a 3-0 series deficit and went on to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years.
In 2014, goalie Martin Jones was Quick’s understudy. The Kings traded Jones to Boston last June in the Milan Lucic deal and the Bruins promptly flipped Jones back to the Western Conference. This was the first playoff start for Jones, who faced 24 shots.
The Kings had leads of 1-0 and 3-2, and had rallied themselves from a 2-1 deficit to take a 3-2 lead.
Their first two goals came with some help from the Sharks: Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin’s first-period effort, making it 1-0 only 2:53 into the game, went in past Jones off the foot of Sharks forward Tomas Hertl.
Kings center Jeff Carter tied it at 2-2 on the power play in the second period after his shot first hit the stick of Sharks defenseman Brent Burns and then the shoulder of Jones.
The Kings pulled Quick in the final minute but were unable to get the equalizer. In the second period, with Quick out of position, Drew Doughty made a spectacular save. It was that kind of game.
One of the big themes heading into the series was how the Kings would handle the Sharks’ third-ranked power play. Each team scored one power-play goal.
“There were a lot of penalties,” Kings forward Dustin Brown said. “They’ve got a really good power play. We’ve just got to be aware of it. It’s hard to kill that many penalties.”
Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter: @reallisa
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