With 3:23 remaining in the final frame and the game tied at 3-3, the Jamie McGinn went to the penalty box for a five-minute major of the charging variety. It was a questionable call, but the San Jose Sharks didn't let it get to them - they'd already prevailed twice against the Los Angeles Kings in overtime and were willing to gain some momentum by killing the penalty. They stopped it through the remainder of the third period, and then came out in the overtime frame full of energy and aggressiveness. The Kings had a couple of good chances on the power play, but Antti Niemi was solid and the Sharks got the kill. Cue Devin Setoguchi putting the puck on net, Patrick Marleau getting a small piece of it and Joe Thornton grabbing the rebound to beat Jonathan Quick as cleanly as we've seen this series, giving the Sharks a 4-3 win in game six, and a 4-2 series win in the quarterfinals.
The Sharks played some great hockey early on, dominating play in the first period, but they failed to get any points in the opening frame. They out-shoot the Kings 16-5 in that period, in which Los Angeles had a nine minute stretch without a shot on goal. Period two began with a Sharks power play, but Jonathan Quick makes some great saves and nothing comes of it, the Kings kill the penalty. Kyle Wellwood has an excellent chance early on with a virtually empty net, but misses wide with the backhand, drawing the ire of fans and commentary teams alike. He makes up for it though, circling around the net, recovering the puck and putting it to Thornton, who dishes it back to Wellwood, who beats Quick high and away for the first goal of the night. He also went out and made a great defensive play on the very next shift, skewing the trajectory of a Kings' pass and forcing them offsides.
Joe Thornton was then called for a four-minute high sticking penalty, and Justin Williams was able to score in the third minute of the power play to tie the game at one-all. Thornton made a very bone-headed play shortly after returning from the penalty box (good thing he notched the game-winner), Quick lost his stick and Thornton was on that side with the puck and an opportunity to shoot, but he neglected to do so. Jason Demers struck to put the Sharks up 2-1 though, when Joe Pavelski made a great play to circle around the back of the LA net and take it almost to the neutral zone, before hitting Demers on the weakside, who puts it past Quick up and away.
The third period was demoralizing for the Sharks, as the Kings came in and scored just eighteen seconds in, Ryan Smyth with a pass and drives the net, catching the rebound to put it past Niemi. San Jose began to look a little tired and slow out there, but a Dany Heatley solo goal from between the circles just inside the far post put the Sharks back up and gave them some more energy. The Kings get another power play though, when Demers was called on an interference penalty, and that goes to Trevor Lewis. This all lead to overtime, and you know the rest.
Antti Niemi finished with 26 saves, while Jonathan Quick made 31 of his own. The Sharks out-shot the Kings 35-29 and won the faceoff battle 37-28.
Thornton's earlier hesitance to shoot the puck when Quick was without a stick highlights a big problem tonight: the Sharks had three power players, went 0-3 on them, and only had three total shots in said power plays. That's altogether, and Thornton was not the only culprit. The only player who didn't seem gunshy was Heatley, even Marleau circled around, had a lane, and ended up passing back instead of firing, which begs the question of whether or not Quick got into their heads with a 51-save performance in game five.
Either way, the Sharks have a lot to look at going into round two, and we'll touch on that with a full series recap tomorrow and a new stream for round two. Stay tuned for more, folks. Don't forget to head over to Fear The Fin to celebrate.