SAN JOSE (CBS/AP) — Jonathan Quick made 51 saves to help Los Angeles hold on to a big lead that Kyle Clifford and Wayne Simmonds helped provide and the Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 5 on Saturday night to remain alive in their first-round series.
Dustin Penner added his first goal in more than a month in a big first period for the Kings, who cut San Jose’s lead in the series to 3-2 by bouncing back after a pair of home losses put them on the brink of elimination.
The Sharks outshot the Kings 52-22 but failed to end the third all-California playoff series in NHL history at home. San Jose will try to wrap up the series in Game 6 on Monday night in Los Angeles. The series would come back to San Jose for Game 7 on Wednesday night, if necessary.
The Kings knocked out Antti Niemi with three goals on their first four shots in the first 8:42 of the game and didn’t fall apart after that as they did in Game 3 at home.
Los Angeles scored three first-period goals that night and took a 4-0 lead with a goal in the opening minute of the second period to knock out Niemi. But San Jose scored five goals in the second period to tie it and then became just the fourth team ever to overcome a four-goal deficit and win a playoff game when Devin Setoguchi scored in overtime.
Quick made sure the Sharks never got rolling in this game, stopping all 19 shots in the first period and standing tall after Patrick Marleau woke up the crowd when he poked a rebound to cut it to 3-1 early in the second.
Quick made a tough save on Dany Heatley after Ryane Clowe made a nifty, touch pass on a three-on-two advantage and then helped kill of San Jose’s second power play of the game late in the period to maintain the two-goal lead heading into the third.
Both goalies came up with big stops early in the third with Antero Niittymaki making a diving, glove save from his knees to rob Drew Doughty and Quick answering with a pad stop on a shot from in front of the crease by Kyle Wellwood.
Logan Couture, who hit the post in the second period, got the puck all alone in front of the net midway through the third after a turnover at the blue line, but was robbed by Quick.
Quick also helped kill two penalties later in the third, part of an impressive bounce-back performance after allowing six goals in each of the past two games.
The fans at the soldout Shark Tank came ready to celebrate a clincher, waving their white pompoms and chanting “Beat L.A.!” just before the opening faceoff. That frenzied environment didn’t last long thanks to three goals in a span of just over 5 minutes.
The outburst started when Rob Scuderi’s point shot was deflected by Clifford and then Simmonds into the net after Niemi was unable to clear the puck. Simmonds and Clifford teamed up again for Los Angeles’ next goal following a turnover at the blue line by Dan Boyle. Niemi made a glove save on Simmonds on a 2-on-1, but Clifford was there to knock the rebound in to make it 2-0.
Just over a minute later, the Kings took advantage of a bad bounce off the boards and Penner beat Niemi from the high slot to end a 17-game stretch without a goal.
While Niemi got pulled, there was plenty of blame to go around for the Sharks. Each of the three defensive pairings and three of the four lines were on the ice for one of the goals, with Joe Pavelski’s line the only spared a minus-1 rating for the period.
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