Kings take 2-0 series lead over Sharks with 4-3 comeback victory

Kings 4, Sharks 3 (final)

The Los Angeles Kings have taken a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series against the San Jose Sharks by scoring twice in a 22-second span in the final minutes of Game 2 on Thursday night at Staples Center.

The Sharks can blame themselves for getting penalized twice in the late stages of the third period, giving the Kings a 5-on-3 advantage that they eventually converted. Dustin Brown scored the equalizier on a rebound and Trevor Lewis put home a loose puck when the Kings still had a man advantage.

San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, whose delay of game penalty led to the Kings two-man advantage, scored his first career playoff goal with 11:04 left to give the Sharks their first lead of the game at 3-2.

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick finished with 28 saves while Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made 27 saves.

Here's a breakdown of the Game 2:

Third period

The San Jose Sharks had a golden scoring opportunity inside of six minutes in the third period of Game 2 on Thursday night at Staples Center, but center Joe Pavelski couldn’t find the puck in time with goalie Jonathan Quick leaving the right side of the net vacant.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty tried a backhanded shot that was knocked away, and a center Tyler Toffoli's effort was also dismissed by San Jose goalie Antti Niemi.

The Kings rushed down ice in a two on two, but winger Dustin Brown’s shot was kicked away. A long shot by Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi was then gloved with 3:08 left.

Hard shots by Doughty and fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin were also blocked just before San Jose defensmean Brad Stuart, frazzled by the assault, got called for tripping with 2:41 left in the period.

The Kings then gained a two-man advantage when defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic knocked the puck out of play with 2:19 left for a delay of game.

Kings center Mike Richards put a shot on goal, but Niemi couldn’t glove it this time and Brown knocked in the rebound to tie the socre, 3-3, with 1:43 remaining.

Twenty-two seconds later, the Kings took a 4-3 lead when Trevor Lewis pushed home a rebound past Niemi.


The physical play of Game 2 continued in the third period, with Kings center Anze Kopitar pulling Sharks captain Joe Thornton off a pile of bodies near Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who was under siege in the crease.

The scene was repeated seconds later down ice when Kings center Brad Richardson barreled into the Sharks’ net, with San Jose center James Sheppard called for a roughing penalty with 9:02 left.

A Kopitar power-play shot from the left side of Sharks goalie Antti Niemi was snared by the goaltender. A center pass from Kings winger Dustin Penner wasn’t coverted by center Trevor Lewis. Niemi then slowed a Kings’ shot from his left side, along with a slow follow-up attempt, to finally kill the penalty.


The Staples Center crowd cheered the return of injured center Anze Kopitar with 10:11 left in the third period of Game 2 on Thursday night, the sound system blaring the “Rocky” theme.