The San Jose Sharks recovered from a four-goal deficit to send game three of their quarterfinal series into overtime, where Devin Setoguchi lifted the Sharks to a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Kings. It was an overtime period that was very back-and-forth, with neither team giving up the neutral zone, exchanging breakaways and attacking shifts that lasted only one shot before going back the other way. Finally, Patrick Marleau took the puck up the left side, dished it to Setoguchi, who buried it for the win at 3:09.
The Kings got things started fast, scoring twice in the first three minutes of play. Nobody on the Sharks seemed to care, they moved slow and sluggish, they didn't even look like they made any effort at all to stop the second score. They did appear to come alive afterward though, after Niclas Wallin was called for a hi sticking penalty and was given a double minor, the Sharks nullified the full four minutes of Los Angeles' power play. They got their own power play shortly after, but it was one of their more uninspired efforts thus far in the playoffs. Dan Boyle got the night started badly, passing the puck right to Michal Handzus, who politely thanked him before slamming the puck past goalie Antti Niemi for the third Kings goal of the period. Willie Mitchell and Kyle Clifford grabbed goals one and two, respectively.
When the second period began, the Sharks opted to keep Niemi in, and it was a mistake. Ian White turns it over much like Boyle did to Handzus previously, and Brad Richardson buried it past Niemi to go up four goals to none. At that point, the Sharks made the goalie change to Antero Niittymaki. Niemi finished having given up four goals on only ten shots. Something about the goalie change gave the Sharks a boost though, and they started playing strong.
Joe Thornton (who had an otherwise abysmal game, with more than a couple turnovers) dished it to Dan Boyle, who put the puck on net, where Patrick Marleau was waiting to tap it in, putting the Sharks on the board. This set the Sharks on a three-goal streak that saw Ryane Clowe get one of his two goals, the first one on a power play and Logan Couture take a feed from White to bring the Sharks within one at 4-3.
Los Angeles, to their credit, didn't just roll over. Less than half a minute after the Sharks made it 4-3, Ryan Smyth beat Niittymaki to make it 5-3. But the last couple minutes, everything we knew and understood went out the window. The Sharks started absolutely dominating play, hitting hard and at one point, had the Kings players skating in concentric circles, unable to follow the puck that eventually made its way from Dany Heatley, to Boyle and to Clowe, when Clowe sunk it in. With under a minute left to play, Joe Pavelski put the puck into the net as well, taking it into the third period.
It was a horrible first period, an amazing second period that saw the Sharks set a franchise record for goals scored in a period, and a third period that was very balanced both ways and left neither team's fanbase overly confident heading into overtime. No goals were scored in the frame, and both teams seemed too scared to go out of their way to produce some sort of offense.
Expect more expanded thoughts on this game tomorrow, but suffice to say that the Kings should be affected mentally by this kind of defeat, squandering a four goal lead at home and going down 2-1 in the series.