Game 76; 45-26-5
SAN JOSE — It was a close game through 40 minutes but in the end, the San Jose Sharks pulled away as they defeated the Los Angeles Kings by a 5-2 count to clinch a playoff berth.
The Kings, though, opened the scoring in this one.
9:12 into the game, Vincent Lecavalier beat Martin Jones for his ninth to give the Los Angeles the first lead of the game with Alec Martinez and Brayden McNabb helping out with the assists. Just under four minutes later, though, the Sharks equalized thanks to Justin Braun‘s third.
San Jose then took their first lead of the night at the 7:55 of the second when Brent Burns netted his 27th past Jonathan Quick. Like in the first, though, the trailing team came back as Vinny Lecavalier potted his second of the evening — from Milan Lucic and Tyler Toffoli — to tie it.
In the dying seconds of the middle frame, Jonathan Quick made an unbelievable leg save in front to rob Logan Couture. A save like that should have given the Kings plenty of momentum entering the third did not. Unfortunately for the Kings, it was the Sharks who took over in the third.
First, Joe Thornton scored his 18th on the power play to give the Sharks a lead they would not relinquish. Melker Karlsson added some insurance late before Justin Braun scored into an empty net to ice it, giving the home team the win and pulling them to within five points of first in the Pacific Division.
This was the fifth and final regular-season meeting between the Kings and Sharks with the latter taking the series by a 3-2 count. Monday also marked the first time this season where the home team won a game in this series.
For the Kings, they close out March with another divisional tilt when they play host to the Calgary Flames on Thursday.