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Third Period Gets Away from Kings as Sharks Clinch Playoff Berth

Photo credit: Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

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.

Photo credit: Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo credit: Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

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.

About Ryan Cowley

Ryan Cowley has been writing about the Los Angeles Kings since 2009, beginning as the head writer and editor of Make Way for the Kings since its inception. Until the summer of 2015, Make Way was run by the FanvsFan Network (www.makewayforthekings.com) but has since become independent at its new address: www.makewayforthekings.net Ryan is an NHL-accredited writer who has covered such events as the Stanley Cup Final and Stadium Series. He is also a graduate of Comedy Writing & Performance from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.

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