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Game 1; SJ leads series 1-0
SAN JOSE - Of the eight series, this was probably the most anticipated. The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks were meeting in the playoffs for the third time in four years and the first since last spring when both teams fought it out in a grueling seven-game series. This year's version was supposed to be just as close. Unfortunately, the Kings seemed to have missed the memo.
After opening the scoring on a goal that had Jonathan Quick not even knowing which direction the puck was in, the Sharks scored twice in the final minute of the first to go up 3-0.
While this was a very physical affair in the early going, it was San Jose who came out firing, looking as if they were on a mission. As for the Kings, it was an all-round horrid effort.
They were uncharacteristically outshot and even more uncharacteristically outhit. Whatever happened to the Los Angeles Kings may not be easy to answer but whatever the reason may be, their performance was absolutely unacceptable.
To have an extra day to prepare from the end of the regular season to have a good opportunity to taking advantage of a struggling San Jose netminder in Antti Niemi to eliminating any home-ice advantage in this rivalry, they came out and laid one gigantic egg.
In the third, the Kings did make more of an effort, showing their opponents that they weren't willing to go away quietly.
With Martin Jones in goal to start the third, the Kings got the spark they needed.
2:01 into the third, Jake Muzzin scored on a point shot from Anze Kopitar to break Niemi's shutout bid. Slava Voynov then scored on a point shot a little later. A bit after, it was Trevor Lewis from Jeff Carter and Robyn Regehr to make things very interesting. But a Brent Burns empty-netter iced it for San Jose as the Sharks held on for the 6-3 win to draw first blood in this series.
With the end result, this was Los Angeles's first multi-goal loss since February 3, which was also the last time Jonathan Quick allowed five goals in a game.
While their rally in the third did make the game very exciting for a while, it was the effort through the first 40 minutes for the Los Angeles Kings that did them in. While the Sharks came out strong, the Kings just could not match them - and on Sunday for Game 2, they will need to change that if they hope to tie this series. It's just that simple.