The L.A. Kings came out like a team fighting for their playoff life. The San Jose Sharks didn’t seem to match that urgency. And now this best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series grows even more interesting.
The Kings, who previously trailed 3-0 in the series, once again managed to avoid elimination with a 3-0 victory over the host Sharks on Saturday. San Jose still leads the series, although their advantage has slimmed to just 3-2 when it looked earlier on in the week like the Sharks might be easily on their way to the second round.
Jeff Carter’s goal 22 seconds into the second period ended Niemi’s night. Carter has at least a single point in each of the five games in this series, and points in his last nine playoff games dating back to last year.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Jonathan Quick, who was lit up earlier in this series, recorded his first shutout of these playoffs.
He was remarkable when called upon, including a highlight save off Andrew Desjardins in the first period. His teammates responded, with Anze Kopitar scoring his first of the series.
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
"I’m looking forward to being in the same organization as my brother now and seeing what happens." – Dougie Hamilton on the trade