Jonathan Quick’s 28 saves blunted a surge by the Sharks, who had won the last two games. (Getty Images)
By Adrian Dater
The Los Angeles Kings are one win away from their second straight Western Conference finals appearance, which puts them in striking distance of doing what they say can’t be done in this age of NHL parity: win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Not since Detroit in 1997 and 1998 has a team repeated the feat, but the Kings are now nine wins away.
In Game 5’s 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks at the Staples Center on Thursday night, goaltender Jonathan Quick kept alive his bid to accomplish something that has only been done twice in the history of the sport: win two straight Conn Smythe trophies (goalie Bernie Parent of the Flyers in 1974 and ’75, and Penguins great Mario Lemieux in 1991 and ’92 are the two repeat postseason MVPs).
Quick saved his best for last: a glove-hand robbery of Joe Pavelski with 39.5 seconds left in regulation, a ridiculous stop that helped earn him an honor as the game’s No. 1 star.
Anze Kopitar, who scored the game-winner, summed up the game to the NBC Sports Network as “Probably our best game of the playoffs so far. We all realize they have lots of players who can make good plays, but when you can limit their time and space it makes it hard for them.”
Other observations from Game 5: