“Hits and Misses” for Kings at Sharks 4/4/11
Joe Pavelski – Pavelski scored his 19th goal of the season at 1:47 to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead to extend his point streak to 10 games and had an assist for a two point night. After the Kings won an in zone face-off, Sharks forward Torrey Mitchell got his body in front of the puck at the blue line on an attempted clear of the zone by the Kings. With the puck still in the Kings zone, Mitchell fired a shot on net that Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped but the rebound kicked out to Pavelski in the slot and Pavelski fired a shot pass Quick for the goal.
Marc Edouard Vlasic – Vlasic scored his fourth goal of the season at 8:26 of the first period to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead and had an assist for a two point night. With the Sharks cycling in the Kings zone as a result of the Mitchell/Pavelski/Kyle Wellwood line, Pavelski fired a cross zone pass from the blue line to Wellwood on the side board. Vlasic read the play and received a pass from Wellwood in front and fired a shot from inside the high face-off circle pass quick for the goal.
Kyle Wellwood – Wellwood scored his fifth goal of the season at 2:19 of the first period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead and had two assists for a three point night. Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins won the battle for a loose puck in the Kings zone down in the corner and got the puck out to Vlasic at the blue line. With Pavelski and Wellwood screening in front, Vlasic ripped a shot from the blue line that Wellwood touched on its way to the net that beat Quick for the goal.
Dan Boyle – Boyle scored his eighth goal of the season at 5:33 of the second period to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead and had a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” as he had an assist for a two point night and a scrap in the game’s final minutes. Boyle took a pass from Sharks captain Joe Thornton in the neutral zone, skated into the Kings zone with the puck on his stick, quick deked and fired a wrist shot from in the slot that beat Quick and ended Quick’s night in net as backup goalie Jonathan Bernier replaced him for the remainder of the game.
Joe Thornton – The Sharks captain scored his 20th goal of the season at 9:20 of the second period to give the Sharks a 5-1 lead, marking the 11th consecutive season that Thornton has scored at least 20 goals. In addition, Thornton had an assist for a two point night to give him 999 career points. Thornton carried the puck into the Kings zone and dropped the puck off to Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who had just came onto the ice, and fired a shot on net from the lower face-off circle. Bernier stopped the shot but the rebound went right to Thornton, who was standing at the side of the goalie crease, and with one swoop of the stick, Thornton buried the rebound shot into the net for the goal.
Devin Setoguchi – Setoguchi scored his 22nd goal of the season at 19:33 of the third period to give the Sharks a 6-1 lead. From inside the Kings zone, Boyle passed the puck out to Marleau in the neutral zone and Marleau carried the puck into the Kings zone. From the side board, Marleau got the puck over to Setoguchi, who skated into the slot, toe-dragged the puck and sniped a shot top shelf pass Bernier.
Antti Niemi – Making his 34th consecutive start in net for the Sharks, Niemi was once again outstanding, stopping 31-out-of-32 shots for his 33rd win of the season. What else can be said about Niemi that hasn’t at this point?
Douglas Murray – Murray finished with a game high five hits and had an assist.
Ian White – In the game’s final seconds with the Sharks up 6-1 and on a Penalty Kill, White was still playing hard and blocking shots. White finished with three blocked shots for the game and continues to endear himself to Sharks fans as fans love seeing that kind of all-out effort for the entire game, no matter what the score is.
Patrick Marleau – Marleau finished with two assists for a two point night.
Niclas Wallin – Wallin finished with a game high four blocked shots.
Todd McLellan – Coach McLellan won his 151st game, putting him just one behind Mike Keenan for the most wins in the first three seasons as a head coach.
Sharks Team – Since January 15th, the Sharks have gone 26-4-4 and with the win tonight, the Sharks regained the second overall seed from the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference standings, won their fourth consecutive Pacific Division title and are guaranteed finishing no less than third overall in the Western Conference standings for the playoffs.
Kings Goal – The only blemish for the Sharks tonight was Kings forward Michael Handzus‘ goal at 1:57 of the second period that cut the Sharks lead to 2-1. Shortly after the penalty to Sharks forward Jamal Mayers had expired, Kings defenseman Matt Greene fired a hard slap-shot from the point that Niemi initially stopped but the puck trickled out of his glove and fell into the goalie crease. With Thornton out of position, Handzus was able to tip the puck into the net for the goal.
Referees – Can someone please explain to me how on God’s green earth did the Kings get a Power Play opportunity in the game’s final minutes when both Kyle Clifford and Brad Richardson of the Kings intentionally went after Murray, which resulted in Murray scrapping with Clifford and Boyle, who came to Murray’s defense, scrapping with Richardson? Also, how does Boyle get 14 penalty minutes? It would have been nice if the officials had the courtesy to explain the ruling to Coach McLellan or at the very least, chatted with him after the game when McLellan motioned for them to come over to the Sharks bench. I guess the referees though don’t talk to coaches anymore.