Apr 22, 2011, 1:54 AM EDT
The San Jose Sharks rode the momentum of their dramatic Game 3 comeback and another busy second period to earn a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. These two road wins give the Sharks a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Some might reflexively wonder if the Kings were “broken” by that Game 3 loss, but if you ask me, it’s all about San Jose’s superior talent taking over.
San Jose 6, Los Angeles 3; Sharks lead series 3-2
While it couldn’t beat that insane seven-goal second period from Game 3, the middle frame was the story of this game as well. The two teams skated to a 0-0 tie in the first period before the Sharks stormed to a 3-0 lead thanks to one goal by Jason Demers and two by Ryane Clowe.
This time around, Kings coach Terry Murray decided to take a time out, which paid off for the Kings in the short term. Brad Richardson and Justin Williams scored goals to make it 3-2 going into the second intermission.
That was as close as the Kings would get, though. Joe Thornton scored a goal and then blew a kiss, which was a surprising moment considering the fact that Jumbo Joe has been such a target for playoff criticism over the years. It ended up being a safe move, though, as Joe Pavelski made it 5-2 less than a minute later. Torrey Mitchell and Alexei Ponikarovsky exchanged goals late in the third to make it 6-3.
The Sharks have gone from being worried about another upset to being in a position to end this series fairly quickly with Game 5 back at the HP Pavilion.
While Los Angeles has to be down in the dumps, their collective heart shouldn’t be questioned. Honestly, the only thing I questioned is the pace of this series from the Kings’ perspective. It’s been fantastic, frantic hockey to watch … but is this the type of game that really suits their situation?
All positivity aside, the Kings had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead with two games at home. Instead, they are in the opposite situation. That’s disappointing, even if it might be part of a growing process for a young and promising team.
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