The Sharks are headed to Vancouver. San Jose dropped a 3-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at Staples Center, to finish in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Sharks will battle the Northwest Division winning Canucks with the first two games at Rogers Arena. The Kings secured the fifth seed and will play the St. Louis Blues. By the time the game started, the two teams already knew that home ice in the first round was not possible. The Blues secured the four seed with a 3-1 win over Chicago in a game that ended just before the Sharks and Kings dropped the puck. The Sharks trailed 2-1 to start the third, and nearly tied the game when Dan Boyle’s shot rang off of the post with 11 minutes to go. About a minute later, Justin Williams deposited a pass through the crease by Brad Richardson to give Los Angeles a two-goal cushion it would need. TJ Galiardi’s goal on a pass through the slot by Joe Pavelski at 17:34 brought the Sharks back to within 3-2, but they couldn’t find the equalizer. Kyle Clifford’s goal in the first minute of the second period opened the scoring. Clifford’s shot from the circle trickled through Antti Niemi and momentary sat in the crease before Clifford charged in to whack it in at 48 seconds. Logan Couture answered less than a minute later to tie it at 1-1. Couture danced through defensemen Slava Voynov and Rob Scuderi before lifting in a spectacular unassisted marker at 1:37. Couture has six goals in his last nine games, and finished with a team-leading 21. The Kings took the lead back before the intermission. Voynov’s slap shot from the point appeared to deflect off of James Sheppard at 5:31 to make it 2-1. Clifford nearly made it a 3-1 lead for the Kings, when he stared at a wide open net on a slick feed from Jeff Carter. Marc-Edouard Vlasic got his stick on Clifford’s one-timer at the last moment to keep it out of the net with about eight minutes left in the second period. The Kings finished with seven straight home wins, and a 19-4-1 mark at Staples Center for 39 points. That tied the Sharks and Blackhawks for most points gained at home in the league.
Sharks' loss sets up first round date with Vancouver
CSN Bay Area | Apr 28