NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 21st (All times Eastern)
(5) Los Angeles Kings (2-1) at (6) San Jose Sharks (1-2), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will try to even their Western Conference semifinal series when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Tuesday's Game 4 battle at HP Pavilion.
The Sharks fell into an 0-2 hole in this best-of-seven set after suffering consecutive losses in Los Angeles. However, San Jose bounced back on Saturday with an overtime win in Game 3 at the Shark Tank and needs another victory on Tuesday to avoid falling behind 3-1 before the series heads back to Los Angeles for Game 5.
Los Angeles put up two power-play goals within a 22-second span over the final two minutes to pull out a 4-3 triumph in Thursday's Game 2, but Logan Couture helped the Sharks put that crushing defeat behind them on Saturday.
Couture scored the deciding goal on the power play 1:29 into overtime to lift the Sharks to the win at HP Pavilion, where the club built an impressive 17-2-5 record during the regular season. San Jose is now 3-0 as the home team in the playoffs after winning both games in Silicon Valley during its opening- round sweep of Vancouver.
Dan Boyle also tallied on the power play in Game 3, as the Sharks went 2-for-5 with the man advantage. San Jose was a combined 0-for-7 on the power play in the first two games of this series.
Antti Niemi turned aside 26-of-27 shots on Sunday to help anchor the critical win.
"It was a real, real important win for us. We felt we let them get away in LA," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan stated afterward.
The penalties that led to the winning goal did not come without controversy, however. Robyn Regehr was sent off with 41.7 seconds remaining in regulation for hooking the Sharks' Tommy Wingels, and Trevor Lewis was whistled for charging into Niemi with 5.2 seconds on the clock with Los Angeles on a shorthanded rush.
The Kings were able to kill off Regehr's penalty, but San Jose worked the puck to Patrick Marleau in the right slot on the resulting 5-on-4. Marleau's quick feed to Couture was then ripped over Jonathan Quick's glove to give the Sharks the win.
"I'm disappointed that the refs had enough confidence to make a gutsy call like that in the last 30 seconds of the period," Kings forward Dustin Penner said of Lewis' penalty.
Tyler Toffoli potted the lone goal for the Kings, who received 38 saves from Quick in the losing effort.
The Kings fell to 1-3 as the road team in the playoffs after going 8-12-4 away from Los Angeles during the regular season.
Game 5 of this series is scheduled for Thursday in Los Angeles.
Sharks forward Martin Havlat, who returned to the San Jose lineup on Saturday for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury in the team's playoff opener at Vancouver, played less than five minutes in Game 3 before exiting in the first period. He has been ruled out for Game 4.
This marks just the second postseason meeting between these two Pacific Division rivals. The Sharks got the best of the Kings in six games during the 2011 conference quarterfinals.
05/21 10:40:41 ET