Kings blank Sharks for series lead
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - There's no place like home for the Los Angeles Kings.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Kings continued their dominance at Staples Center with a 3-0 Game 5 win over the San Jose Sharks.
The Kings' 13th straight victory at home, a run that dates back to the regular season, has given them a 3-2 lead in this Western Conference semifinal series. Los Angeles, which was coming off back-to-back 2-1 losses in San Jose, will look to finish off the Sharks on the road Sunday night.
Quick, who also blanked the Sharks in the series opener, earned his 27th career playoff win, a new Kings record. He had been tied with Kelly Hrudey for the most in club history.
"We played well. We played hard, came out with a purpose," Quick said.
The Kings got a late second-period goal from Anze Kopitar and third-period tallies from Slava Voynov and Jeff Carter.
Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots for San Jose.
"(The Kings) came hard right off the bat, but we got through that without getting scored on," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "The rest of the night, we weren't very good and moving forward, maybe that's a good thing because we have a lot to improve on and need a better effort from a lot of people."
After making nine first-period saves, Niemi remained sharp between the pipes as the Sharks were pinned in their own end early in the second frame.
In a one-minute span, he made a blocker save to foil defenseman Jake Muzzin's bid through traffic before gloving a shot by rearguard Robyn Regehr.
Later in the period, it was Quick's turn to dazzle as he denied Patrick Marleau twice from close range. At the conclusion of those sequence of saves, Kyle Clifford went off for charging at 11:19.
Los Angeles followed up a successful kill with a fruitless power play when San Jose defenseman Jason Demers was whistled for boarding shortly after the penalty to Clifford had expired.
Niemi then made an impressive right-pad stop on Carter's wraparound try at the left post with about four minutes to go in the second.
Moments later, however, the Kings finally broke the scoreless deadlock. Clifford ripped a one-timer from the right point into heavy traffic. The puck was knocked down, creating a net-front scramble that resulted in Kopitar poking the puck behind a prone Niemi from the left side of the crease with 1:52 remaining.
Los Angeles extended its lead 53 seconds into the third period. Trevor Lewis bested San Jose captain Joe Thornton in an offensive zone faceoff, pushing the puck back to Voynov, and the defenseman fired a wrister from the right point past a screened Niemi.
Carter sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute after Mike Richards won a puck battle.
Only once in eight previous occasions have the Kings lost a best-of-seven series when up 3-2 ... Los Angeles has won seven straight home playoff games dating back to last year's Cup run ... Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play.
05/24 02:26:24 ET