The Los Angeles Kings played their best game of the first round, had the lead midway through the third period and were clearly the better team in overtime, but none of that mattered. The San Jose Sharks won anyway and now hold a 3-0 series advantage on their division rivals.
Patrick Marleau continued his amazing run of overtime winners with this fortunate redirect, San Jose’s very first shot on goal in OT. The Sharks have won 10 of their past 11 playoff overtime games and Marleau has ended four of them.
Who says the Sharks vets don’t get it done in the clutch?
As unexpectedly dominant as the Sharks have been over the Kings, the real story has been the disappearance of Los Angeles’ much-ballyhooed suffocating defense and Jonathan Quick being a non-factor. The Sharks are averaging the most shots on net per 60 minutes by a Western team these playoffs, while Quick has 5-on-5 numbers similar to Anders Lindback and Ilya Bryzgalov. The bar has been awfully low.
For the Sharks to have a long and successful playoff run, a crucial first step was to quickly move on from Round 1. As unlikely as that seemed last week, now the Sharks are one win away from sweeping their nemesis.