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Sharks score 7 straight, rout Kings for 2-0 series lead
San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Pavelski collected a goal and two assists, and the San Jose Sharks reeled off seven unanswered goals to post a convincing 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings and take a 2-0 series edge in this Western Conference quarterfinal.
Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture added a score and a helper each for the Sharks, who managed to score more in the first two games of this year's series (13) than in all of last year's seven-game loss to their southern rivals (10).
Mike Brown, Raffi Torres, Joe Thornton and Justin Braun also recorded tallies, while Antti Niemi shook off a shaky first period to record a 24-save victory.
"It's just been a couple of great nights for us offensively," Braun said. "Shored up a few things defensively, Niemi has bailed us out a few times. But you can't be that disappointed with that many goals in two games. It's been good so far at home."
Jake Muzzin and Trevor Lewis provided first-period scores for the Kings, who will have the comforts of home for the next two contests to get back on track, beginning with Game 3 on Tuesday in LA.
"I don't really know if it's one thing in particular," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "Again, we gave up a lot of odd-man rushes. Even in the first [period] when we were up 2-0, they had a lot of good chances. We need all 20 guys to be on top of their game."
Jonathan Quick was left in net for all seven goals on 40 shots.
Down by two to begin the second period, Brown began the rally, picking up his first career playoff marker at the 4:25 mark and the Sharks cut their deficit to 2-1.
Torres equalized for the hosts, trailing a rush and snapping an Andrew Desjardins back pass home from the high slot at 9:04 and a Braun offering from the right-wing boards near the blue line zipped past a Tommy Wingels screen at 14:45 gave San Jose a 3-2 edge.
Marleau boosted the hosts' advantage to 4-2 by one-timing a cross-ice feed by Matt Nieto from the bottom of the left circle only 68 seconds into the third period.
Pavelski then blew past the Kings defense up the right wing and beat Quick high to the near side to make it a 5-2 game at 4:07, and Couture potted a Marleau pass from the right side for a four-goal spread just over four minutes later.
Thornton's rip from the right circle on a power play at 10:06 brought the lead to 7-2, but the hosts kept the pressure on from there. Late-game scraps saw Kings forwards Brown and Kyle Clifford, along with Brown and Desjardins removed from the game with misconducts.
Muzzin's shot from the right point found space through traffic and sailed by Niemi less than two minutes in to give the Kings their first lead in the series.
LA doubled its advantage just prior to the midway point of the period. Quick had made three stops on Wingels from the right side prior to the rush, completed when Lewis redirected a nifty Jeff Carter pass in the slot.
San Jose recorded its most goals in one playoff game since a 7-3 road victory against Colorado on April 30, 1999, in Game 4 of a Western Conference quarterfinal and scored its most goals in one home postseason contest ... Los Angeles last gave up seven scores in a 7-2 loss at Vancouver on April 23, 2010 in Game 5 of a Western quarterfinal ... Twelve different Sharks recorded at least one point ... San Jose's only other playoff comebacks from two goals down after the first period were in a 4-3 win on April 23, 1994 against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the WCQF, and April 19, 2011, against Los Angeles. The Sharks trailed Game 3 of the WCQF 3-0 after one and 4-0 in the second before rallying for a 6-5 overtime win.
04/21 02:09:18 ET