The San Jose Sharks are now two wins away from exorcising the demons of 2014 when they had a 3-0 series lead over the L.A. Kings and then collapsed to lose the next four and the series in seven games.
The Sharks gained a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series with the Kings, following a gutsy 2-1 victory in L.A. on Saturday. Both games in this series have been fiercely physical and each decided by just one goal.
In Game 2, the rival Kings and Sharks combined for 87 hits. Get the ice packs ready, because this could be another long series in the making, even if L.A. is behind two games right now.
After scoring twice in the series opener, including the winner, Joe Pavelski struck again Saturday, getting San Jose on the board in the first period. The Sharks could’ve had more, too, except both Luke Schenn and Rob Scuderi bailed out their goalie, Jonathan Quick, protecting the net and diving to deny Logan Couture late in the first period.
Couture answered back in the second period, scoring on the power play to increase San Jose’s lead. That goal turned out to be the winner.
Vincent Lecavalier gave the Kings hope late in the third period, scoring on a scramble with just over five minutes remaining. That was as close as L.A. would get to tying the game. They now head to San Jose in need of a win in the next game, or face going down 3-0 in this series.
That would be familiar territory for both teams.