SAN JOSE – Scoring five unanswered goals against the team that allowed the fewest goals-against in the regular season was a notable achievement in Thursday’s Game 1 win.
Somehow, the Sharks topped that in Game 2 at SAP Center on Sunday night, tallying seven in a row to turn an early deficit into a 7-2 blowout victory over the Kings.
San Jose has a commanding two-games-to-none lead over Los Angeles, as their first round playoffs series shifts to Staples Center for games three and four next week.
Joe Pavelski led the way offensively with one goal and two assists, and 12 Sharks players each had at least one point.
The Sharks trailed 2-0 after the first period despite outplaying the Kings, but didn’t get discouraged and slowly took over the game.
Mike Brown put San Jose on the board, when he was left alone in the high slot and buried a pass from Andrew Desjardins at 4:25.
Desjardins got the only assist on Raffi Torres’ second goal of the series, too. The fourth line center made a nifty play with the puck and left it for Torres, who buzzed in a snap shot midway through regulation to tie the game at 2-2.
The Sharks took their first lead at 14:45 of the second period, courtesy of Justin Braun. The play began with James Sheppard skating around Matt Greene and getting off a bad angle shot that kicked out to the point. Jonathan Quick looked surprised when Braun’s shot kissed the twine in the top corner, as the goaltender may have been screened by Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell and Sharks forward Tommy Wingels.
The carnage got much worse in the third period for Los Angeles. A perfectly executed three-on-two resulted in Patrick Marleau making it 4-2 at 1:08, and less than three minutes later Pavelski took advantage of a bad line change, freezing Quick and drilling it home while skating in alone.
The lead to 6-2, after Marleau bounced off of Slava Voynov’s attempted hit along the wall and centered the puck to Logan Couture, who chipped it in at 8:08.
Joe Thornton kicked the extra point on a two-man advantage midway through the third, getting his second goal of the series on a shot from the circle with Greene and Jarret Stoll in the penalty box.
Similar to any recent Sharks-Kings battle, the game was a rough one. Early on, Brown shoved Tyler Toffoli into Quick, knocking over the Kings’ goaltender for the second straight game.
Torres ran Alec Martinez twice on the same shift in the first period, and Brent Burns threw maybe the hardest check of the night when he buried Drew Doughty behind the net in the first minute of the second period.
It got more violent in the third. Torres and Greene pushed and shoved in front of the net, with Greene picking up the extra minor after Torres was cut above the eye. Further gatherings resulted in misconduct penalties to Kyle Clifford, Desjardins, Mike Brown and Dustin Brown, while Mike Richards was given a double-minor for spearing Couture in the pants at 14:44.
Quick was the best player on the ice in the first period, and the biggest reason Los Angeles had a 2-0 advantage at the break. He denied Tomas Hertl from the slot less than five minutes into the game, Marleau skating in alone with 12:15 to go, and gloved a Pavelski swipe at a loose puck with four minutes to go, among others. He wasn't able to maintain that level of play, though, and has now allowed 12 goals in two games.
Jake Muzzin’s wrist shot from the point beat a screened Antti Niemi to the short side just 1:51 into the game, and the Kings increased their lead to 2-0 when Trevor Lewis got stick position on Marc-Edouard Vlasic for a tip-in from Jeff Carter at 9:33.
The Sharks have won six of the seven previous series in which they’ve led two-games-to-none. San Jose had just 10 goals total in its seven game series with Los Angeles last season.
Thornton’s goal was the only power play goal of the night for San Jose, which finished 1-for-6 and is 2-for-9 for the series.
The Kings had just one power play and did not convert, and are now 0-for-4 on the series.
Quick was surprisingly left in for the entire game, allowing seven goals on 40 Sharks shots.
Niemi recorded his second win in the series with 24 saves.
The Sharks kept their same lines and lineup together for Game 2 as they had in Game 1. In the second period, Hertl was moved to the Thornton-Burns line while Pavelski centered Sheppard and Wingels.
The only player not to register a shot on goal for San Jose was Matt Nieto, who finished with two assists and a +2 rating.
Los Angeles shook up its roster by dressing seven defensemen, inserting Greene into the lineup and removing forward Jordan Nolan. Greene was a -4, the worst rating of the night for either team.
The series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Tuesday (7:00 p.m.), and Game 4 on Thursday (7:30 p.m.).