Brent Burns, Logan Couture score goals that help Sharks even series
San Jose skates past Los Angeles, 2-1
Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.
SAN JOSE -- The Sharks turned this into a real series Tuesday night.
Dominating early, San Jose held on to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 at HP Pavilion, winning a second consecutive game on home ice and knotting up their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series at two games each.
Goals by Brent Burns and Logan Couture provided the offense while netminder Antti Niemi stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced with Kings forward Mike Richards getting the lone Los Angeles tally on a power play midway through the third period.
The Sharks were fully aware that the last thing they could afford was a split of the two games at home after returning from Staples Center without a win. Coach Todd McLellan had declared that his team's Saturday night 2-1 overtime win accomplished nothing -- unless his team grabbed the second game at home as well.
The message got through.
"We know we don't want to go down 3-1 going back to L.A. We know this is a huge game. We have to bring our best effort," Couture said before Game 4. "They're going to be better than they were in Game 3. We know that. We have to be better than we were as well."
For the first 20 minutes, the Sharks were not only better than they were the previous game, they were better than any time this postseason -- and maybe well beyond that.
San Jose sustained pressure throughout the first period, giving up just three shots to Los Angeles and none in the final 9:58.
Meanwhile,the Sharks were all over the Kings in their own end, though goalie Jonathan Quick was up to the challenge as he stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced.
The one that got past him was on a shift that Joe Thornton played as if he were possessed, getting to the puck first, then making the most of it when it was on his stick. First he pick-pocketed it away from Kings defenseman Slava Voynov behind his own net, then he got it to Burns all alone to the right of Quick and Burns did not miss the open side of the net with his 15-foot slap shot.
San Jose continued to control the pace, drawing two penalties in the first 20 minutes but unable to take advantage of the power plays that followed. Tommy Wingels came close to scoring after that, but his shot from the high slot clanked off the post to the left of Quick and the period ended with the Sharks relatively unrewarded for their effort.
The Kings seemed to benefit from the between-period break after the first period, showing more life and slowing the Sharks down some.
But a questionable call against Colin Fraser for roughing Andrew Desjardins at 3:14 gave the Sharks their third power play of the night and this one did not go to waste when Dan Boyle launched a 54-foot slap shot that Couture got his stick on en route to the back of the Kings net.
Not long after that, it looked as if the Kings had cut the lead in half when a shot by Kings rookie Tyler Toffoli trickled into the San Jose net. But a referee lost sight of the puck before it crossed the goal line and waived it off as Los Angeles forward Dustin Penner protested. That play is not reviewable, however, and the call stood.
The penalty calls went against the Sharks the rest of the period, with both TJ Galiardi and Scott Hannan sent off for tripping. But San Jose's penalty kill looked strong and the Kings did not have a shot reach Niemi either time they had the man advantage.
Ahead on the scoreboard, the Sharks began throwing their weight around more in the third period. Burns nailed Brad Richardson with a clean open-ice hip check at 6:46, but his hit on Kopitar less than two minutes later drew a boarding call.
Los Angeles did score on that power play as Richards was able to get his stick on a shot originally blocked, then hammered it twice to get it between Niemi and the left post at 9:46.
As badly as the Sharks were in charge of the first period, Los Angeles controlled the final 20 minutes, outshooting the Sharks 14-2.
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