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Comeback Kings: L.A. wins third straight, forces improbable Game 7

Apr 29, 2014, 1:01 AM EDT

The L.A. Kings are in the history books.

On Monday, they became just the ninth team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 0-3 in a series, beating San Jose 4-1 at Staples Center in front of a frenzied home crowd.

Though all 60 minutes were action-packed, this one was decided in a four-minute span in the third period. Justin Williams — who had a tremendous night, notching three points — scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 11:56 when he poked home a loose puck under Alex Stalock‘s pads. The goal went to video review, as the puck did appear to disappear out of sight, but the call on the ice stood — and that’s when things went south for the Sharks.

Frazzled, they watched as L.A. scored two more times in the next three minutes. Anze Kopitar notched both for the Kings, his second and third of the playoffs, and that set the stage for a wild final five minutes that included a fight (Logan Couture vs. Mike Richards), a near-fight (Joe Thornton vs. Jonathan Quick — yes, Jonathan Quick) and a grand total of 98 penalty minutes.

With the win, the Kings are now one win away from becoming just the fourth team ever to rally from a 0-3 deficit and win a Stanley Cup playoff series. The others: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the 1975 New York Islanders and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers — a team that featured two current Kings, Richards and Jeff Carter.

As for the Sharks, they can take solace in the fact they’ve been here before. In the second round of the 2011 postseason, they blew a 3-0 series lead to Detroit before regrouping to win Game 7 in San Jose. Head coach Todd McLellan and his leadership group — captain Joe Thornton, most notably — will likely revisit that scenario in the hopes of avoiding what would be the biggest collapse in franchise history on Wednesday night at the SAP Center.


  1. guitarisgood4u - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    Holy third period

  2. pirovash88 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Heeeyyy Sharks fans, guess who gets to celebrate another Victory!?!?! Haha.

    Keep acting like a bunch of goons, Sharks, it only fuels the Kings and makes em play better.

    Raffi is a changed man, right guys?

    • nightfireop - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      hey piro, i know ur excited but don’t get too cocky. sharks are still a powerful team and can still win the series. let’s just take one game at a time.

      an no, once a raffi always a raffi (although tbh i’m impressed he hasn’t marian hossa-ed anyone yet *knock on wood*)

      • pirovash88 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:14 AM

        Not getting cocky dude, just surprised to be here is all. Regardless of whether or not we win this series, i’ll still be proud of this team for making history tonight.

    • crushed49 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Calling the Sharks a bunch of goons is funny coming from an la kings fan. Question though, are the kings blackmailing the refs, threatening or just flat out paying them off? Explain how Thornton gets a penalty when quick is the one that started the damn thing by jumping on Thornton’s back. Just naming one recent one.

      • namriverrat69 - Apr 30, 2014 at 8:34 PM

        Some people write the best comedy. I see we are still on the conspiracy theory against the Sharks thread. How can a fan know what is in the head of a ref. C’mon man. Really, in this day and age of NSA government spying. I don’t think it is the refs or the league. I think it goes way beyong that. It is a conspiracy at the federal government level. Yeah, it must be President Obama. He is being blamed for everything else that is wrong with America. He must be to blame for this too.

        It isn’t for a fan to explain a penalty call. You should be calling for the individual referee to explain his call or non call. Unless you do that you are just a whiner crying in the wind with nobody listening.

  3. trbowman - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Again, Kings….mental fortitude. They win this game seven.

    Sharks have a reputation of playoff choking already. Well, if you thought that reputation couldn’t grow any further….

  4. joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Story of the game is that Quick was better than Stalock, and Sharks looked slower than the Kings.

  5. nightfireop - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    i’m as happy as anybody can be, but don’t get too over-confident. now ANY of us can eliminate each other and the sharks have their home arena with some of the loudest anti-kings crowd in the nhl. game 7 will be our toughest challenge yet.

    may the most determined team win.

  6. sharks123 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Goons? What are you watching? Sharks are cowards that play without a spine. Been watching it for years. It’s beyond getting old.

    • nightfireop - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      dude, stop with the pessimism (imagine kings fans the previous 45 yrs); it’s a coin-flip in YOUR arena, it’s still anybody’s game.

      at least your team blitzed us the first 2.

      • terba28 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:18 AM

        Because that’s what every fan wants to say,

        “Man they really blew that series, but hey at least they killed them the first two!”

        Bottom line is that those two games don’t matter now. If LA wins game 7 it won’t mean anything, other than the start of one of the biggest playoff collapses in hockey history.

      • nightfireop - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:35 AM

        i’m trying to comfort u guys.

    • cybernetikghost - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      I’m so shocked that you sharks fans let the air get taken out of you so quickly. You guys were almost done etching your team on the Cup until you lost two and then everyone jumped ship. Must be the PTSD that comes with being a sharks fan during the playoffs.

    • namriverrat69 - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      You remind of the New Orleans ‘Aints’ back in the 1970s. Fans loved their team and got so frustrated with their non winning ways they called themselves the Aints and wore large brown paper bags with the eyes, nose and mouth cut out to the games. The still came and supported their team and I don’t recall them bad mouthing their home team because they kept losing. TV showed them all the time, these fans who loved their team and found a piece of humor in their situation. They weren’t happy and it became a sort of joke for years. Everyone laughed with them. It wasn’t that the team was so bad, it was ownership and how they built the team. You can’t blame players who aren’t as good as others.

      As a fan I just want to see my team be able to compete at the highest level and hopefully win, which they did 2 years ago. And hopefully again this year.

      Get a grip. This is your team. It is like a marriage, through the good times and the bad you support them. The Sharks are not losing because they are not trying. They haven’t made the changes the Kings have. I would call it more Sutter vs McClellan in coaching and then throw in that wild card Quick. If my Kings lose I still love them just as I’ve loved them since my first game right after returning from Vietnam. It has been a 43 year love story.

      Should be a great game tonight regardless who wins. We can be happy our teams have played so well.

  7. canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM

    Sharks choking hard

    • jason9696 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:04 AM

      At least they made the playoffs. Which is a lot more than I can say about the Canucks.

      • canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:22 AM

        The Canucks have been to 3 Stanley Cup Finals including 2 Game 7’s.

        Which is more than I can say about the Sharks.

        BTW I’m actually rooting for the Sharks in this series. However, much like my Canucks, a choke is a choke.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:05 AM

        Indeed, Canucks30, nothing in hockey is more glorious than losing every Stanley Cup Final your team has ever played in. Just ask Blues and Sabres fans. They love it. The Leafs on the other hand, don’t get there all that frequently, but they have won their last 4. Most people currently on Earth weren’t born yet, but still.

      • canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:05 AM

        When the Canucks are eliminated I always cheer for teams that have long suffering fan bases (San Jose, St. Louis, Washington, etc.) because as a Canucks fan, I am sympathetic to their plight.

        I was cheering for Chicago in 2010 and LA in 2012 because of their long Stanley Cup droughts.

        I’ve always felt that the longer the drought, the sweeter the taste of victory. As a Canucks fan, or fan of those teams you mentioned nothanksimdriving123, that is what gives you hope.

      • canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:13 AM


        The median age of people in the developed world is approximately 37 years old. In addition, the number of people over 60 in Canada and the USA is rapidly increasing.

        Ergo, your assertion that moss citizens of the world weren’t alive in 1967 is in all likelihood, false.

  8. terba28 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    Nope. I’m done. Sick and tired of the lackluster play of a team that claims they want to be a winning team.

  9. jason9696 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    I want the Kings to win. But San Jose got royally screwed on LA’s second goal. There’s no way in hell that should have counted.

    • cybernetikghost - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      They wouldn’t have had to worry about that goal if they converted on any of the power play chances that they were given, which included a 5-on-3.

    • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      Yep. Got to agree with you there, and it wasn’t a reviewable play. Tough break for the Sharks, but we at least get to enjoy a game 7.

    • pirovash88 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      It wouldn’t have counted had Stalock been pushed into the net along with the puck.

      • joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        Hmmm. rule 78.5. The only argument to counter your claim is that St. Louis had a similar goal refused. It’s highly likely that the referee behind the net was focused on the puck and didn’t the see LA player push the goalie.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:09 AM

      More than 90% of the time, when the goalie has it covered and/or the ref can’t see it, we hear the whistle. This time, for some reason, he gave it more time. So, we’ll see a G7, and the team with more championship mettle will play this weekend.

      • hrudey - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:20 AM

        And I’m sure that if Stalock actually had it covered, the whistle would have blown. Watch at 1:27 or so on the video below:

        The puck is clearly not covered up. The referee saw that, saw that Stalock looked over his shoulder because he didn’t know where it was, and so there was no reason at that point to blow the whistle.

        The only real question is whether the play by Williams should have been ruled off or not. From what I’ve seen of the rules, you can’t push the goalie into the net with the puck, but incidental contact is allowed. Stalock certainly wasn’t pushed into the net – so a reading of the rules there seems to indicate the goal should count. I suppose Sharks fans can go ahead and consider it a 3-1 Kings win instead of 4-1, though, I have no problem with that.

  10. canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    Joe Thornton needs to drop his nuts

  11. cybernetikghost - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    Here’s hoping that the kings forget that they came back and assume they have this thing won. We were down 3-0 for a reason, this team can dominate.

    Win or lose though, it was an incredible series.

  12. kings138 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    One game at a time.

  13. savior72 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Damn! They’re gonna choke AGAIN!

  14. sjsharks66 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    I don’t get how it’s bad when the Sharks fans are confident after taking a 3-0 lead. Then the Kings force game 7 and it’s okay to be an a**hole? The best part is how kings fans in a previous article claim they never bring up Torres. Yet here they are again. Torres did nothing wrong. Him and Williams were kicked out. Then Quick jumps Thornton? Come on Kings fans, take your hands off your eyes. It’s the playoffs, stop acting like you guys are saints. Stoll forearms Vlasic in the back of the head to take out the Sharks best Dman. Reminds me of the Blues series were King took out the Blues best Dman also. Kings fans will never admit it but you guys are sneaky at being cheap.

    Whatever, as a Sharks fan I am used to this happening. Win or Lose I will still represent the Sharks with pride. This happened with the Wings and the Sharks pulled out a win. Just hope that it happens again on wednesday.

    • cybernetikghost - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:30 AM

      I think it’s not bad, but funny that all of the cockiness from sharks fans has been dissolved down to 3 fans that still think the sharks have a chance. Everyone else jumped ship or isn’t here.

      And everyone is going to mention Raffi Torres. Whatever team he is on, the opponent is going to bring him up.

      • nightfireop - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:38 AM

        yea sjsharks66, as rotten we’ve all been here in the comments section, at least you’re still posting (whether we agree or not).

  15. infalliblelogic - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    “when he poked home a loose puck under Alex Stalock‘s pads”

    You mean when he shoved his stick into Stalock’s pads and pushed Stalock into the net? At what point did his stick poke the “loose” puck that was under Stalock’s pad, exactly?

    • cybernetikghost - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      The score was 4-1. What problems did you have with the other goals?

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:20 AM

        Actually, the game I watched was an exciting 1-1 affair until a debatable call. The refs agree it was debatable, evidenced by the NHL review. And before the Sharks could refocus after it went against them, the Kings, a terrific team, a recent Cup champion, seized the day and it was quickly over.

    • shortsxit34 - Apr 29, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      I’m not sure what feed you saw, but the feed I was watching showed the puck behind Stalock from at least two different angles.

    • hrudey - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      The puck was absolutely loose:

      Stalock also wasn’t pushed into the net, since for that to happen he would have had to, you know, gone *into* the net, rather than having his skates on the goal line and the rest of him in front of the goal line.

  16. fincelticsredsoxfan - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:20 AM

    As a sharks fan all I gotta say is the sharks have disappeared. They gotta step it up big time. Kings seem like they want it more honestly and it’s awful.

  17. canucks30 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    The 0-3 comeback isn’t as formidable as it once was.

    The Red Sox did it in the ALCS against the Yankees in 2004 and the Flyers did it vs the Bruins in 2010.

    Windsor did it in the 2010 OHL Playoffs and Peterborough did it this year in the 2014 OHL Playoffs.

    The Blackhawks and Red Wings (against many of the same Sharks players) forced a game 7 but lost in 2011.

  18. sjsharks66 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    As for the goal controversy. Pathetic call by the refs. As for “they should have converted on the power play.”. That doesn’t make the call any less of an embarrassment. I always hate that excuse. I am not saying the bad goal was the reason the Sharks lost. Just stating these refs need to get their heads out of their asses. It’s happening in every series.

    • cybernetikghost - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:36 AM

      The thing is though that when you dwell on a call, you spend time focusing on what you can’t control and all of a sudden, it’s 4-1. I don’t remember you complaining about the calls that went your way.

      • nightfireop - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        i hope the sharks can dwell on that one call and worry about darryl sutter’s tie for just one more game.

    • dannymac17 - Apr 29, 2014 at 1:44 AM

      Its always the refs to you, huh?

      every playoffs. its the refs fault for the Sharks folding up like lawn chairs.

      Get outta here you mutant.

    • seitz26 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      Which call was more pathetic? The refusal to blow the whistle when Stalock never had the puck covered and didn’t know where it was, or the penalty to Pearson for “stopping”? Gotta hand it to Marleau, though. A net four minutes, two for grabbing Doughty’s stick and smacking it into his face, and the two he got away with when he was “bumped”, then used that as an opportunity to dive on top of Quick. Yeah, the refs really cost you guys tonight.

      • hrudey - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:25 AM

        The one I thought was pathetic was Boyle glaring at the ref and standing five feet outside the penalty box for close to ten seconds not drawing an unsportsmanlike.

  19. nomorekidsagain - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    As a European hockey fan and Bruins fan who is following the NHL for 25 years now I am really surprised about this repeated PO declines of the Sharks. I mean sure, game 7 still to play, but as things look right now and what I have seen of this series I would say it’s 70 – 30 chance for the Kings winning it. What I don’t get is, that the Sharks are not a person with a character trait where you can say “ok, he is like this/always acts like this” … it’s a freaking sports team which is defined by the changing players representing it. And still – it looks like a repeated bad habit year in year out. I mean it is not the Joe Thornton, Pat Marleau one line team anymore – both not necessarily considered crunsh timers – with a russian on-and-off goalie (Nabokov). There is Niemi who won a cup, Vlasic, Burns, Pavelski (whose college coach said he is the most “winner-personality” he has ever coached), Couture, young guys like Hertl and Nieto, stable versatile dman like Justin Braun … and still – they look the same every year. No off year, play offs, chokes. Really weird ..

    • dolanster - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      This is why Boston ditched Big Joe. They still call going 0-0-0 in a playoff series “the full Thorton” in Massachusetts. Not a put-the-team-on-his-back captain. Never has been, never will be.

  20. aldog83 - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    Hope to hear more excuses by San Jose after Wednesday night!


  21. billiam55 - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    sharks = chokers.

  22. feedmetherock - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    annnnddd cue the annual Sharks playoff choke job in 3..2..1..

    That entire group out there has no clue how to win in the playoffs.. how many years have they had an awesome regular season, only to go into their turtle shell in the playoffs?? What a joke..

  23. scrot7 - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Blomfeld is currently half mast. With a game 7 Kings win, he will acheive full engorgement.

  24. slysipops - Apr 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    i can’t believe BLOMFELD hasn’t graced you SHARK fans with his presence ! could he really have something prophetic in saying ……. LA KINGS : TODAY …TOMMORROW…FOREVER …?? he must be staying away on purpose just to be a good guy ? i mean the way the KINGS have turned the SHARKS into GUPPIES , i would have thought for sure he could have come up with a fitting ELVIS song …or two!

    • blomfeld - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:58 PM


      Blomfeather: look ! … it is he ‘Slysipops’ of the great Blackhawk nation, the one we call our friend !

      Ten Bears: indeed Blomfeather, however should we silence him before he gives word of our position ?

      Blomfeather: no brother … we will let him ‘pass in peace’ this time, for he is good …

      Crazy Dog: yeah, well I say we waste the Mo-Effer right here and now !

      Blomfeather: no Crazy Dog ! … the great spirit has already ‘ordained’ his place of resting …

      Ten Bears: well ‘He Who Eats Fish’ is now in position to decimate Thornton’s soldiers in the morning …

      Blomfeather: that is good … pass word to him that ‘no’ prisoners are to be taken alive …

      Ten Bears: yes brother … I will see to it that he hears of your wishes …

      Crazy Dog: okay, that’s ‘cool’ and all, but when are we going to finally meet some ‘ladies’ here ?

      Blomfeather: soon brother, trust me … never forget that ‘work’ must always precede pleasure ! :)

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