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The Los Angeles Kings avoided a 3-0 series deficit when forward Tanner Pearson beat Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones between the legs in overtime to win game three for Los Angeles 2-1 April 18 in San Jose.
With the win, the Kings cut the Sharks lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1 with two games in each city remaining, including Wednesday’s game four at the SAP Center.
Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in the victory, while Jones made 23 in his team’s loss.
Early in the first period, the game looked like San Jose’s to lose when center Joe Thornton circled around the Kings’ defense and fired a wrist shot past Quick just 30 seconds into the game to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. The goal came on San Jose’s first shot of the game with forward Tomas Hertl adding the assist.
Sharks’ forward Tommy Wingels hook on Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty led to a Kings power play, where nifty passing from Kings’ left winger Milan Lucic and defenseman Jake Muzzin lead to a tap in goal for center Anze Kopitar to tie the game at 8:10 of the first period.
After the two teams combined for a goal or better in all seven previous periods, neither the Sharks nor the Kings could beat the goalies in the second or third periods. Quick stopped the 20 shots he faced in the combined two periods while Jones stopped nine.
The Kings crushed the Sharks on hit totals, with 61 hits to San Jose’s 39. Los Angeles also drew more penalties than the Sharks, but San Jose wasn’t able to capitalize on the five power plays they were given.
The Sharks look to go up 3-1 as they take on the Kings in game four at 7:30 p.m. April 20 at the SAP Center in San Jose.