San Jose Sharks outsmart Los Angeles Kings in shootout – NHL Recap
Before the result of the game on Thursday, April 05, 2012, at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California, both San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings knew that they had qualified for the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs this season.
However, there was still one honour that was worth fighting for – the supremacy in the Pacific Division. At the end, both teams got what they deserved as Sharks won the game and Kings did well to keep the competition alive till the shootout.
Sharks got two points for the victory and Kings got one as the game was decided after the regulation and both teams got tied for the first spot in the Pacific Division with 94 points each.
Right from the start of the game, both teams tried to gain control and continued their aggressive outburst.
Kings got the first scoring move of the game at 8:45 in the first period thanks to a power-play goal by Alec Martinez.
Sharks were not very late to respond and they provided the equaliser in the same period. At 16:27, Jason Demers scored his fourth goal of the season to tie the score, 1-1.
In the second period, Kings managed to put pressure on Sharks. At 8:54, Jarret Stoll scored a power-play goal to once again put Kings in the lead, which was doubled after around five minutes by Dustin Brown.
After conceding two goals in the period, Sharks managed to reduce the deficit within the final minute of the period. At 19:32, Joe Thornton scored a power-play goal to reduce the lead to only one goal.
Early in the third period, Sharks brought things back to square one as Ryane Clowe scored and levelled the score, 3-3.
Kings did not lose hope and they once again came in the lead when Justin Williams scored, but this time Sharks were more aggressive as they scored two goals within the next 10 minutes to take a one-goal advantage.
With around less than four minutes left in the regulation, Williams scored another goal to tie the score, 5-5, that forced the game to overtime, which also went goalless and Sharks eventually managed to score a goal in the shootout to win the game.
After the victory, Sharks’ coach, Todd McLellan, said:
"We've had a tough month and a half, but we've won games we've really had to win. That's the sign of a strong team. ... I knew there was going to be a lot of emotion. I thought it was going to be a hard game. I didn't anticipate us scoring five. I didn't
count on us giving up five as well."
Kings lost the game, but they still have one more game to play in the regular season and they have an opportunity to finish atop of the Pacific Division. Stoll said after the game:
"It was disappointing, just getting one point.”
“It's always a battle for us, so now we're going to have to go in there and play a good road game like we've done all year. We've won in tough buildings, and it's no different here."
Both teams will face each other in their final game of the regular season on Saturday.