The Los Angeles Kings shutout the San Jose Sharks 3-0 Thursday night to regain control of the second-round series. Johnathan Quick was stellar in net and stopped all 24 shots he faced in the contest to push the Sharks to the brink of elimination.
San Jose had the Kings all figured out when they evened the series at two with back-to-back wins, but the defending Stanley Cup champions have been dominant at home and they proved it again on Thursday.
The Kings haven’t lost at home in over two months, and Quick’s performance in Game 5 made sure it would stay that way. Quick posted his third shutout of the playoffs after Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov lit the lamp late in the game to give the Kings a 3-2 series lead.
Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal in the final minute to make it 3-0 Kings, though it didn’t make a difference as the Sharks failed to capitalize on opportunities early and never developed a late rush to get back in the game.
The Kings shutout gives Quick seven total in his postseason career, more than any other Kings’ goaltender in franchise history.
“‘We came out with a purpose,” Quick said after the game. “We knew what was on the line tonight, and I’m lucky to play with guys who care so much about winning. Top to bottom, I thought everybody played well, but it’s just three wins. We know that doesn’t mean anything.”
The Kings will now look to end the series on the road at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on Sunday where they lost Games 3 and 4. A Sharks’ win will push the series back to Los Angeles for a Game 7 on Tuesday, though the team’s performance on Thursday would suggest their all but done.
The Kings outplayed the Sharks on both ends of the ice, and even picked up their physical presence on the boards. Aggressive play slowed down the Sharks’ offense early and the Kings capitalized late to push their home win-streak to seven straight in the playoffs dating back to last season.
Will the Los Angeles Kings win on the road Sunday to advance to the Western Conference Finals?
[Image via Creative Commons]