Exhale Northern California, they’ve finally done it.
After three straight playoff series and 19 valiant battles, the San Jose Sharks have beaten the Los Angeles in a playoff series for the first time since 2011. The Sharks finished off the Kings by a score of 6-3 in Game 5, winning the series 4-1 and moving on the second round of the postseason. Sharks rookie Joonas Donskoi picked up two goals, including the game winner, and captain Joe Pavelski continued his playoff point tear with his fifth goal of the series.
The Sharks opened the scoring just over a minute into the game with Donskoi’s first goal assisted by Logan Couture. Chris Tierney doubled the lead at 11:21 when he took a pass from Brent Burns and snapped a shot high past a screened Jonathan Quick.
The second period was wild one, which opened with Matt Nieto knocking in a tipped puck from behind the net in past Quick to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead. Patrick Marleau nearly scored on a breakaway, but was tripped up by Jake Muzzin and given a penalty shot. Marleau attempted to go top shelf on his penalty shot attempt, but Quick was able to block it with his chest.
The Kings got on the board when Anze Kopitar tipped a Drew Doughty slap shot past Martin Jones at 7:44 of the period. Four minutes later Jeff Carter made it a one goal game when he found himself all alone in front of the net and beat Jones blocker side. The game had seemingly turned on the Sharks, further proved by Kris Versteeg catching the rebound of a Kyle Clifford shot and beating Jones glove side to tie the game.
The Sharks were going to need the best third period of their entire season, and they sure got it. A scramble in front of the Kings net led to Burns backhanding a pass to Donskoi, who whacked it by Quick and in the net at 3:58 of the third. It all unraveled for the Kings after that, when Pavelski took a low shot along the ice that Quick completely whiffed on and beat him through the legs to make it 5-3 Sharks. An empty netter for San Jose rookie Melker Karlsson with 22 seconds to go sealed the game and the series for the Sharks.
The Sharks will get a much needed rest before returning to action later in the week, where they will play the winner of the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators series in the Pacific Division Finals.
(Article taken from the SRJC Oak Leaf, see the original here.)