Programming note: Sharks-Kings coverage starts tonight at 7pm with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
LOS ANGELES – Is Darryl getting desperate?
His team trailing three-games-to one headed into Friday’s Game 5 at Staples Center, Kings coach Darryl Sutter spent a second straight day complaining about the refereeing from Wednesday night’s Game 4, a 3-2 Sharks win in which San Jose struck for three power play goals in four chances.
“I think our whole last game we had a really good first period, and I think the referees got involved in the first 10 minutes of the second period,” Sutter said on Friday morning.
On Thursday, Sutter told reporters: “I know the theme today is ‘San Jose’s power play.’ I’d say the game for me is, ‘How come we didn’t have more?’ We have a good power play, too. There’s missed calls in the third period. When it’s 3-2, there should’ve been some calls, clearly. There’s two hooking, tripping penalties.”
In a scoreless game in the second period, the Kings’ Jeff Carter was sent to the box for roughing when he took an extra jab to the jaw of Marc-Edouard Vlasic during a scrum. Brent Burns’ one-timer on the power play staked the Sharks a lead they would never relinquish.
Later in the second Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi tripped Tomas Hertl, and Joe Pavelski capitalized with San Jose’s second man advantage marker of the night. In the third, it was a Jamie McBain high-stick that resulted in Patrick Marleau’s score.
Sutter had no problem with the McBain penalty, as the defenseman clearly whacked Joonas Donskoi in the face.
“There’s nights where that would have been the only penalty,” Sutter said. “There was no penalties in the first period. It was good. Leave it alone, it was a good period. Leave it alone.”
Pete DeBoer commented after Game 4 that he was “glad [the referees] are clamping down on the after-the-whistle stuff,” something he said was brought up on a conference call with the league prior to the playoffs.
“They’ve followed up on that, which I think is important,” he said.
He has no issues with the officiating.
“I think the [refereeing] has been fine. The standard has been good, in my mind,” he said.
There was, however, one call in Game 4 that didn’t go over well with Matt Nieto. The winger was punished for tripping Jonathan Quick early in the second, but in his mind, Quick should have been the one penalized for sticking out his leg on Nieto, who was charging towards the end wall in search of a loose puck.
“I thought he stuck his leg out after he played the puck,” Nieto said. “It didn’t feel good, I went into the boards pretty hard there. Dirty play, I think.”
Still, he agreed with DeBoer that the refs have been doing a fine job.
“Have there been calls, and no-calls? You could say that’s happened both ways to both teams,” he said. “Our special teams is doing a really good job right now. Our power play stepped up big for us, and our penalty kills are killing at crucial times. It’s been great.”
Logan Couture said: “The penalties that they’ve called have all been penalties. They’ve let some stuff go, but it’s both ways. It’s definitely not one-sided.”
The Sharks are 5-for-18 on the power play in the series, while Los Angeles is 3-for-13. All four games have been decided by one goal.