It took a while, but Marian Gaborik finally stamped his mark on the Kings-Sharks series.
The Slovakian sniper scored a beautiful tally on Wednesday night to briefly give L.A. a second period lead, cutting past Scott Hannan to fire a lethal backhand past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi:
It was Gaborik’s first goal and point in the series. The 32-year-old, acquired from Columbus at the trade deadline, had performed well for the Kings during the regular season and scored 16 points in 19 games, but had failed to replicate that success during two series-opening losses in San Jose. Gaborik came into Game 3 with a minus-1 rating and just three shots on goal, and had his ice time cut in Game 2 to a mere 13:07.
As mentioned, the Gaborik goal only gave L.A. a brief lead. Sharks rookie Matt Nieto scored his first-ever playoff goal just over a minute later to even the score at two.