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Kings complete historic series comeback, defeat Sharks in Game 7

May 1, 2014, 12:50 AM EDT

Anze Kopitar AP

The L.A. Kings looked like they were going to be toppled by their California rivals, the San Jose Sharks, in the opening round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Cue the comeback.

The Kings become the fourth team in National Hockey League history to erase a 3-0 series deficit to win the series four-games-to-three, thanks to a 5-1 victory over the host Sharks in Game 7 on Wednesday. The Toronto Maple Leafs (1942); New York Islanders (1975); and Philadelphia Flyers (2010) are the only other teams to complete the improbable feat, according to CBC.

Oh yeah, Kings’ forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were also part of that 2010 Philadelphia team.

The Kings will now play the Anaheim Ducks in the second round.

San Jose opened the scoring and numerous chances to take the lead even after L.A. got back on even terms, thanks to a run of five straight power plays through the second and third periods. Jonathan Quick, who had been lit up for 16 goals combined through the first three games of this series.

In this elimination game, as in the three previous, he was solid. His best stop of the night was a glove save off Patrick Marleau, with the Sharks on the power play and looking to take the lead for a second time in the evening.

There were questions and concerns from the media about the group of players – perhaps they didn’t have the right “mix” was the thinking – on the Kings roster.

Their comeback in Game 7 wasn’t quite as grand as the series itself. But they never faltered, even when the Sharks took the lead, or when the Sharks took a commanding 3-0 advantage in the series.

Drew Doughty tied the game early in the second period, and Anze Kopitar scored on a beauty backhander to give L.A. the lead. Tyler Toffoli increased their lead to two goals in the third period.

Now begins another off-season of questions for the Sharks. Todd McLellan, the head coach in San Jose since June of 2008, twice pulled starter Antti Niemi in the series, then went to Alex Stalock in Game 6 for his first career Stanley Cup playoff start, before going back to Niemi in Game 7.

  1. canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    The LA Kings win the Stanley Cup as an 8th seed in 2012.

    The LA Kings overcome a 0-3 series deficit and come back to beat the San Jose Sharks in 2014.

    Remarkable.

    • comeonnowguys - May 1, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      Except that it happened against the perennial postseason albatross.

      • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM

        Regardless, it appears the Kings are impervious to adversity. One of the strongest teams mentally I’ve ever seen.

    • neonpep - May 1, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      I’m a Flyers fan so I was thrilled when Richards and Carter were part of the 2010 Flyers and they did it against Boston. I’m sure it didn’t hurt the Kings to have some experience with this in coming back…

  2. comeonnowguys - May 1, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    I don’t care what happened, Blomfeld, you’re still an idiot.

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 12:54 AM

      no real kings fan acknowledges blomfeld’s obnoxious behavior here on PHT.

      • dannymac17 - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

        Im a life long kings fan and i enjoy him rustling your jimmies to the max. Pound sand.

      • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM

        i don’t need him to rustle my jimmies, that’s my girl’s job… ;-P

      • blomfeld - May 2, 2014 at 12:44 AM

        “STAND DOWN” YOU SUCK HOLES !!!

        we got ‘em packed to the water line … some got away but the catch was fine …

        I never saw such big ones man-o-man, we’re com’n in loaded just as fast as we can !

        summary: comeonguys and nightloser should buy a box of condoms and get a room !

        We Kings rule man !!! … today, tomorrow and forever !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  3. terba28 - May 1, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    I’m so sick of this team. Get rid McLellan. If you can’t get the team motivated to not be a laughing stock then you don’t deserve a job. It’s a joke. Thanks for nothing you stupid chokers.

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 12:57 AM

      i honestly don’t think it’s mclellan’s fault though; unless he’s using players that aren’t built for the type of style he’s being otherwise he’s a good coach with a good team (and i’m not being sarcastic).

      this series could have gone either way.

      • terba28 - May 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM

        This choking mentality really came to head when they won the Presidents Trophy in 2009 and lost in six games. It was McLellan’s first year. Ever since then they’ve been branded as chokers, and after this, I sincerely doubt you’ll find anyone in San Jose that disagrees. I just hope they get someone like Laviolette. The Sharks need a swift kick in the ass come playoff time and I think he’d be the one to do it.

      • cybernetikghost - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        Ron Wilson wasn’t the problem either, but they are sticking to this core

      • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:03 AM

        If Sharks fans want a coach to kick some asses they could always swap coaches with Vancouver.

    • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

      I’d place the blame in the lap of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

      Todd McLellan has squeezed just about EVERYTHING he can out of this group and taken them to 2 Western Conference Finals and consistent regular season excellence including a Presidents’ Trophy.

      I’d love to have McLellan in Vancouver.

  4. sixchr - May 1, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Eventually, people will understand what the Sharks and Joe Thornton really are… or maybe they won’t.

  5. canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Anaheim vs LA

  6. nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    gg

    PS: on behalf of the LA Kings and fans, anything posted by blomfeld is not acknowledged by any of us.

    • tronn25 - May 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Don’t speak “on behalf of the LA Kings and fans” as you have no such authority. I agree with nothing you say. You have no spine and are way to careful with what you say so that you NEVER upset ANYONE.

      On behalf of the Kings fan’s who are fine with some playful banter, please take anything said by nightfireop and add “f**k your mom” to the end of his comments so that they actually have some bite.

  7. sjawesome - May 1, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    This is why you don’t talk crap against your opponents until you finish out the series. Good job kings. The sharks are always breaking my heart come playoffs. They need to regroup and come back next year playing better. Let’s go sharks

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM

      thanks and good game sir.

    • bmoreredfury311 - May 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      As a Caps fan, i feel for you Sharks fans. At least i was spared the playoff disappointment this year. Better luck next year. GO HOCKEY!

  8. pirovash88 - May 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Both the Kings and Sharks have made history tonight. The Kings have come back from being down 3-0 to win the Series in 7 games and the Sharks are the biggest chokers in NHL history.

    This is exactly what happens when you’ve assumed you’ve won, instead of playing one game at a time.

    Have fun golfing Sharks and thanks for your support SJSharks66

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      it was a good comeback for our end.

      and don’t tease tonight, it was a close series that could have gone either way.

      • stepanup - May 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        Classy. Like it.

  9. penszone757 - May 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Sharks have got to make major changes. That includes trading some of their so-called key players. You can’t just change the coach and expect a different result. I don’t get it they have one of the most talented teams in the league but they are gutless.

    • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      Not sure you’re going to find a taker for an ageing Thornton and Marleau tied up with huge contracts. They should have changed up their core group after they lost to the Blues in 2012.

      • penszone757 - May 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM

        So true. They gave out contracts to those two like they have accomplished so much. They have to do something or this result will just keep happening.

      • borderline1988 - May 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        I still dont think you need to blow this Sharks team up.

        The Dallas Mavericks were a similar type of team…they were a perennial championship contender but choked in the playoffs for almost a full decade.
        But they stuck with their core and finally won in 2011.

        Maybe give up Thornton if you can something in return, but you don’t just a blow up a team that’s this talented.

      • spitfisher - May 1, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        watching from the side last fall, when I read the contracts for Thornton I knew they would regret it, I just didn’t think they would regret after the past four games, other assists what has this guy accomplished?

    • namriverrat69 - May 1, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Calling your Sharks gutless is like kicking your best friend when he is down. They faced a Kings team with a tougher mental attitude and a stronger will to win.

    • ffrey3660 - May 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Yes U can just look at Van, oh wait my bad or should I say Van’s for hiring a argent man to coach high end talent. Sharks really choked on this 1 sorry to say. Well 1 more series for Brown to take some cheep shots on skilled players.

  10. pitpenguinsrulez - May 1, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Oh what a choke by the Sharks! One would have to say that McClellan gets canned? I’d say so.

  11. vstar1us - May 1, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Nice fricken story, nice win Wild beat the Hawks…..

  12. afrancis55 - May 1, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Typical sharks are typical.

  13. cybernetikghost - May 1, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    I just want to reference a comment on a previous story about how kings fans would be leaving early in game 6 and not stay around for the handshake. I clocked it at 2:07 when half of the arena got up and left. I think the other half were kings fans.

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

      eh; more like a combination of kings fans and true sharks fans that were willing to stay to the very end.

      • cybernetikghost - May 1, 2014 at 1:06 AM

        Just let me have this one

      • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 1:13 AM

        fine, all urs :)

  14. c9castine - May 1, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Stayed up late for that one…unbelievable.

    That has to be it for Mcclellan right? i mean, obviously the players are at fault here completely letting down and losing 4 in a row like that is on the players. but, its time to do something different, clearly. jumbo joe is going to go down as the greatest player in history to suck in the playoffs.

    they need some major moves. its a good team, but their fate is practically written in stone at this point.

  15. fincelticsredsoxfan - May 1, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    As a sharks fan all I can seem to do is laugh. They played another big joke on us going up 3-0 and choking. I do think it’s time to get rid of Thornton though.

    • c9castine - May 1, 2014 at 2:06 AM

      didnt him and marleau just re-up?

  16. canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

      c’mon, that’s just dumb. this series is over. on to the semi-finals.

      • cybernetikghost - May 1, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        If we can’t get amped about coming back from 0-3 in the series, what will we ever have to get excited about? Plus, it’s not dumb. It’s truth served raw.

      • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 1:10 AM

        fair enough… :)

    • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:21 AM

      Not a fan of the baby sound effects but if Thornton displayed that kind of raw emotion on a regular basis he’d be unstoppable.

      He’s a big man who plays a little man’s game and adopts a nonchalant and laissez-faire attitude in crunch time.

      • cybernetikghost - May 1, 2014 at 1:48 AM

        When Thornton plays with any deep emotion he gets flustered and makes mistakes, or maybe it’s just when he is playing angry. I think he is one of those players that needs to not think of anything. He can clear his head and take a walk on the beach with loungo.

      • spitfisher - May 1, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        His best years in Boston are when he played with an edge, PIM were up, 30 goal scorer…………..Now in SJ and nothing has changed, keep gliding & leaning on that stick Joe, atta boy, don’t over do it……

  17. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    http://www.sflunaticfringe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Wonka-Sharks.jpg

  18. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM

    http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/7246/heimlichjersey.jpg

  19. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    http://a4.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/136/af8fdae439804d6aa276c2832c21f9ac/l.jpg

  20. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    http://www.number19.ca/images/sharks-choking.jpg

    • shortsxit34 - May 1, 2014 at 2:12 AM

      lol, best of the four

  21. sjsharks66 - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    This stings big time… That was probably Tmac’s last time coaching in San Jose. To the Kings fans…. Congrats.

    • faulkingallstar - May 1, 2014 at 1:07 AM

      Probably and once again Thornton and Marleau have no consequences.

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      @sjsharks66

      gg

  22. sjsharks66 - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Oh yeah! One last thing. Win or lose I still bleed black and teal!! GO SHARKS!!

  23. chiadam - May 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    The Sharks choke in the playoffs?? Nooooo! Never that!

  24. 950003cups - May 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    Nobody hates the Sharks more than I do right now. They completely screwed up my bracket! LOSERS!!!!!!

    • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      You took all your money and bet it AGAINST the Harlem Globetrotters?

      “Oh, I thought the Generals were due!!!”

      – Krusty the Clown

  25. sharks123 - May 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    The crowning achievement of the Marleau/Thornton era. This team is trained to think they’ll fail when it matters most. Sick of seeing this every year. There will be other sharks fans who say fine go root for another team. Those fans are actually the clueless bandwagoners. Doug Wilson will probably get a raise.

    • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      “It was a good series”

      – Joe Thornton post game

      Really Joe? Really?

      • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:32 AM

  26. dremmel69 - May 1, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Hmmmm. This game ends after Wild defeat Avs yet first blog entry. Once you get over yourself, will be happy to read the news.

    • 22lakings22 - May 1, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      Sensitive much?

  27. r8rbhawk - May 1, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    No dog in this fight, sorry Sharks fans, I feel sick for ya. This has to be one of the toughest teams in sports to be a fan of. Almost as tough as being a Raider fan.

    • canucks30 - May 1, 2014 at 1:27 AM

      I’d go with Cubs, Clippers, and Bills as my top 3.

      • r8rbhawk - May 1, 2014 at 1:49 AM

        yeah, those are definitely tough franchises to be a fan of, long suffering fan bases for sure

  28. faulkingallstar - May 1, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    That’s it trade Thornton and Marleau for some player who can actually lead a team. Absolutly pathetic yet again. Thornton was a turnover machine the last 3 games, Marleau and Couture, invisible last 3. So sick of being a fan of this team. So much potential, so much talent, no heart. I would like to see someone take a little recognition because, giving up a 3-0 series lead is unacceptable.

    • ffrey3660 - May 1, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Trade them to who? I think everybody learned not to do that after Minn took the Heater. Just let then go and take the money to free agency. It’s better to sign player that want to be there than to trade for 1’s that don’t. PS would rather have TMac than Yoe as Wild coach any day !!!!

  29. lopo - May 1, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Mclellan out.

    Next week PHT has an article: BREAKING: Sharks hire Tortella!

  30. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    Wonder what the Leafs will foolishly give up for Thorton this summer?

  31. jpat2424 - May 1, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    Unbelievable. Congrats to the Kings. Go hawks!!

  32. hrudey - May 1, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    I feel bad for Sharks fans, because those of us who are real Kings fans know just how miserable it was to be a fan of this team until 2012. They just got beat by a team that’s also extremely good and has the heart that championship teams embody.

    If I were in charge in San Jose, they’d be looking for a new coach tomorrow. Not because of the series loss, or any particular game, but the whole “we got cheated” angle. You’re supposed to be a leader of men, and if your go-to isn’t “we had a bad break, we needed to be better” but “it’s not our fault”, you don’t develop the kind of character to overcome adversity.

    • cybernetikghost - May 1, 2014 at 1:53 AM

      Miserable before 2012? What do you mean? We had depth. Remember Kevin Dallman? We lost him to the KHL and he won an award for “Best Defenseman”.

      • shortsxit34 - May 1, 2014 at 2:18 AM

        Anybody remember Pavel Rosa? Thomas Hikey?

      • hrudey - May 1, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        Oh, yeah, and I want to make it clear I would never disrespect the immense talent of Troy Crowder or Steve McKenna.

    • nightfireop - May 1, 2014 at 1:57 AM

      we had to go through 45 years of frustration to finally get to where we are today.

  33. tundra67 - May 1, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Three things:
    1) Sutter made effective changes after game 3 that were well executed by his players. And other than tinker around with Stalock and Brown/Havlat, Todd McLellan did nothing to counteract or neutralize what his counterpart did. Maybe there wasn’t much he could change … I’d say it’s 50/50 on whether he comes back as coach.
    2) Especially without Vlasic, the play was not good enough on defense to win. Too many guys were chased into corners, made huge give-aways, or were being run off of pucks. Lots of poor choices on the PK, etc. Boyle looks DONE. Stuart was OK one minute – killer mistake the next, Hannan was just barely competitive. All three must go (along with miserable Martin Havlat obviously) and they need to get younger and a step or two quicker on defense.
    And 3) most critically >> It is painfully apparent that the leadership of the team doesn’t have the heart it takes to really get it done. Good yeah, but not good enough. There’s so much identification with these guys – and they’re good guys – that it’s hard to think about making such a huge change. But after 7-8 years of thinking – based on excellent regular seasons – that it would happen, that the light would go on … but with really no results. It’s not as hard >> They are going to have to consider trading Thornton.

  34. slysipops - May 1, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    seems like a fewof the SHARKS biggest trash talkers are MIA ? but afyer all the squacking about BLOMFELD ….i don’t see him here rubbing their noses in it ?…… yet ?

    • slysipops - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      after

      • blomfeld - May 2, 2014 at 1:02 AM

        take it easy friend … they’ve been ‘dealt’ with :)

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