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.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger