Sharks vs. Kings NHL Playoff Scores: Antti Niemi Makes 35 Saves In 6-3 San Jose Win

The San Jose Sharks, came out and played their game early, feeling out the Los Angeles Kings in the first period. Both teams were very evenly matched at that point, but perhaps emboldened by their comeback in game three (recovering from a four-goal deficit to score five goals in the second period and win the game in overtime via a Devin Setoguchi goal) they came out in the second period with guns blazing. Actually, the Kings did. Alec Martinez got the first goal in the game, unfortunately it was in his own net and the goal was given to Ryane Clowe, who was right in the thick of things.

That's all it took for the Sharks, who came back less than two minutes later for another goal. Martinez was the initial culprit for the Kings again, as he tipped it to Logan Couture, who puts it on the net while Jason Demers sneaks up on the left side, tapping it in with no resistance to make it a two-goal lead. The play in-between all of these moments is largely balanced, and the Kings actually get some good traction going, but Antti Niemi makes some great saves to keep the Sharks ahead.

At 6:00, Matt Greene is called on a hi-sticking penalty, and he draws blood from Scott Nichol, giving the Sharks a four minute power play. The Kings kill the first two minutes, but Clowe strikes again off a Couture rebound to make it a three-goal lead. At this point, Niclas Wallin makes a horrible play for San Jose, sitting in his own zone and all by himself, he flicks it down the ice into the Kings zone, and more accurately, right to Brad Richardson with no Sharks around him. Ryan Smyth puts the puck on net and Richardson circles around it, putting it in behind an out-of-position Niemi. The miscues continued for the Sharks, as Marc-Edouard Vlasic decided he was jealous of Martinez and put the puck in his own goal, which is given to Justin Williams. In Vlasic's defense, he played position well and was just out of place.

That ended things in the second period, and the Sharks went into the third with a 3-2 lead. They weren't content, and jump-started things with a two goals in the first four minutes, each within a minute of eachother. Kyle Wellwood fed Joe Thornton right in front of the net and Jonathan Quick can't get there fat enough. On one of the following faceoffs, Joe Pavelski wins it, feeds it to Dan Boyle, who puts it in front of the net and Pavelski directs it in to give them a 5-2 lead. The remaining two goals were from Torrey Mitchell and Jack Johnson, respectively. All credit to Johnson, his shot from the point had no chance of being blocked, it was a beauty that went in just under the top bar. Niemi never saw it coming. It may actually have been redirected in by Alexei Ponikarovsky.

Niemi stopped 35 shots, while Quick only managed to make 21. San Jose once again dominated faceoff numbers, winning them 38-26. There were two separate occasions with 5-on-3 play, and the Sharks did have another 4-on-4 goal.

The Sharks lead the series 3-1 and head back to HP Pavilion to hopefully get things done in five games.

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