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2014 NHL Playoffs: San Jose Sharks push L.A. Kings to brink with 4-3 OT win

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The Sharks came back from a 3-2 deficit and knocked off the Kings in overtime in L.A. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Sharks came back from a 3-2 deficit and knocked off the Kings in overtime. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Rallying from two disastrous efforts in San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings threw everything they had at the Sharks in Game 3 Tuesday night.

It wasn’t enough.

Patrick Marleau ended a back-and-forth thriller at 6:20 of overtime with a harmless looking backhander that deflected off the stick of Kings defender Slava Voynov and over the shoulder of Jonathan Quick to seal a 4-3 win for the Sharks. San Jose now owns a 3-0 stranglehold on their best-of-seven series and could close out the 2012 Stanley Cup champions on Thursday night.

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  • Published On Apr 23, 2014
  • 2014 NHL Playoffs: Seven different Sharks score in Game 2 rout of Kings

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    Fourth-liner Raffi Torres turned out to be a catalyst for the Sharks' explosive attack. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    Fourth-liner Raffi Torres turned out to be a catalyst for the Sharks’ explosive attack. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Not to steal a rare moment in the sun from fourth-line winger Mike Brown, but the real first star of the Sharks’ stunning 7-2 win over the Kings wasn’t wearing teal.

    Brown may have scored the first of San Jose’s seven unanswered goals and led the assault with eight official hits, but the actual catalyst behind this jaw-dropping win was Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who made two decisions early in the second period that turned a 2-0 deficit into a franchise-record-tying rout.

    Sensing that his combinations needed some adjusting after a frustrating first period, he pulled Joe Pavelski off of Joe Thornton’s wing and slotted him on the third line between Tommy Wingels and James Sheppard. McLellan also recognized that his fourth line was firing on all cylinders and deserved a regular shift.

    Both calls paid quick dividends. Brown and Raffi Torres drew the Sharks even by the midway point of the period, setting the stage for Pavelski to help blow the game wide open with a goal and two assists in a four-goal third.

    No one should be surprised that San Jose now holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. After all, the home side has taken 18 of the last 19 meetings between these two teams. But the margins of the Sharks’ victories — they won 6-3 in Game 1 — might be more surprising than the Red Wedding. What was expected to be a tight defensive series has been turned upside down. San Jose has scored 13 goals in two games after scoring all of 10 against Los Angeles in a seven-game second-round loss last spring, and now stands poised to put the Kings on the ropes when the series resumes on Tuesday night in L.A.

    Whatever the line for that one is, take the over.

    Here are some quick observations on tonight’s game, as well as a couple of thoughts on what sets up to be a very important Game 3.

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  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • Sharks get to Jonathan Quick, Kings early, hang on for 6-3 Game 1 Win

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    The Sharks' relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Jonathan Quick. (Nick Lust/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The Sharks’ relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Asked before the game what it would take the upend the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose’s Joe Thornton said simply, “Score some goals on Quick.”

    The Sharks did just that, beating Jonathan Quick three times in the first period on the way to a 6-3 win in their series opener on Thursday night.

    Thornton got the hosts on the board just 3:06 in with a deft deflection of a Joe Pavelski backhander, but it was a pair of goals from rookie Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau in the final 52 seconds of the frame that set the stage for a rout.

    The Sharks built their lead up to 5-0 in the second, sending Quick to the showers after 40 minutes. And while the Kings rallied with three goals to make the score interesting in the third, the end result was never really in doubt.

    Here are some observations after tonight’s contest and a look ahead to Sunday’s Game 2.

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks

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    Joe Thornton (left) and Drew Doughty are both crucial figures in a potentially thrilling first round California series. (Don Smith/Getty Images)

    Joe Thornton (19) and Drew Doughty (8) are crucial figures in a possibly thrilling first-round series. (Getty Images)

    By Gabriel Baumgaertner

    Regular Season recaps

    Wed. Oct. 30: Los Angeles 4, San Jose 3 (OT)

    Wed. Nov. 27: San Jose 3, Los Angeles 2 (SO)

    Thu. Dec. 19: Los Angeles 4, San Jose 1

    Mon. Jan. 27: Los Angeles 1, San Jose 0

    Thu April 3: San Jose 2, Los Angeles 1

    Notable injuries

    Kings: Drew Doughty (upper-body, day-to-day), Dwight King (undisclosed)

    Sharks: Raffi Torres (knee, doubtful), Scott Hannan (head, day-to-day)

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2014
  • GIFs: Sharks’ Joe Pavelski records hat trick in win over Edmonton

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    By Darian Somers

    Joe Pavelski’s stellar season just keeps getting better and better.

    The San Jose Sharks center rang up a hat trick against the Oilers on Tuesday night, his third this season and second within a month’s time.

    Pavelski’s first score cashed in a rebound try on the power play at 6:28 of the second period. He picked up his second tally early in the third period, beating goalie Ben Scrivens stick-side, and completed the hat trick with a shot over Scrivens’ shoulder at the 13 minute mark. His three-goal night tied him with Anahiem’s Corey Perry for second in the league goal-scoring race with 37 apiece.

    Pavelski also picked up an assist in San Jose’s 5-2 win.

    His wasn’t the only hat trick on Tuesday night. David Backes recorded one in St. Louis’ win over Toronto.

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  • Published On Mar 26, 2014
  • VIDEO: San Jose Sharks make dream come true for ailing youth hockey player

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    By Allan Muir

    The signing of Sam Tageson won’t change the fortunes of the Sharks, but it certainly changed the life of the young player.

    The 17-year-old, who suffers from a potentially fatal heart condition, lived out his dream of suiting up for San Jose on Tuesday night after receiving a one-day contract from the team with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    He spent the day practicing with the Sharks and hanging around the dressing room with the players. It was prior to their game against the Panthers, however, that the Sharks went above and beyond. Tageson became the first non-player in the history of the franchise to skate with the team through the SAP Center’s shark’s mouth for pregame warmups. He then stood with the players on the blue line during the national anthem.

    You get a sense of what it meant to this kid — and to a couple of his new teammates — when he was introduced to the crowd.

    Warning: Don’t make the mistake of chopping onions while watching this like I did.

  • Published On Mar 19, 2014
  • Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau sign new multi-year deals with San Jose Sharks

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    Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have signed new contracts with the San Jose Sharks.

    Patrick Marleau (12) and Joe Thornton (19) have been Sharks teammates since 2005. (Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Their names may have popped up in the occasional free agency prognostication piece, but it has always felt like a matter of when, not if, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau would decide to finish their careers with the Sharks.

    The current and former San Jose captains both made it official today, signing extensions that will keep them in teal for the next three seasons.

    That was clearly the goal all along for Thornton and Marleau. Both players took less term and dollars than they could have earned on the market this summer. In fact, they were even willing to take minor haircuts to get the deals done. Marleau’s contract features an annual average value of $6.67 million, down from his current $6.90 million. Thornton will bring home an AAV of $6.75 million after taking home $7 million this season.

    “Patrick and Joe continue to perform at an elite level in the National Hockey League and, most importantly, they make the other players around them better,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “They both made it very clear that they wanted to stay in San Jose and we were able to agree on contracts that fit with our team building philosophy.”

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  • Published On Jan 24, 2014
  • Grading the NHL team Christmas videos

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins made a Christmas video for 2013

    Nothing says “happy holidays” quite like Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. (

    By Allan Muir

    It’s that most wonderful time of the year, when your favorite NHL stars finally cave in to the pleadings from their teams’ PR departments and agree to abandon all dignity in the spirit of spreading a little holiday cheer.

    Yes, it’s time for the annual video Christmas cards that are sent, with love, to you, the fans. And this year offers a diverse and laugh-filled crop sure to bring years of embarrassment to the participants. Check ‘em out:

    Pittsburgh Penguins: Holiday Album

    The Bit: This one offers charmingly low-rent visuals and a great concept: a compilation album of re-imagined Christmas classics, including “Feliz Niskanen,” “Do Jussi What I See,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Sidney Claus.”

    Highlight: Kris Letang channeling Fred Armisen channeling Lawrence Welk.

    Grade: A

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  • Published On Dec 18, 2013
  • Dan Boyle leaves ice on stretcher after cheap shot by Maxim Lapierre

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    By Allan Muir

    Just hours after the league threw the book at Patrick Kaleta, another repeat offender, St. Louis Blues forward Maxim Lapierre, earned himself a date with Brendan Shanahan for one of the cheapest hits you’ll ever see.

    Early in tonight’s heavily anticipated showdown between the undefeated Blues and Sharks, San Jose defender Dan Boyle rang the puck around the boards deep in his zone. Moments later, Lapierre roared in from behind and blasted Boyle square in the numbers, sending him chin-first into the lip of those boards and leaving him immobile and apparently unconscious on the ice for several scary seconds.

    It was as stupid a decision as you’ll see anyone make in hockey. There was a clean hit to be made on this play. Conversely, there was plenty of time to pull up from making contact in this area, but Lapierre but followed through, blasting Boyle face-first from behind instead. Forget about fighting — it’s garbage like this that has no place in the game.

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  • Published On Oct 15, 2013
  • Hockey world prays Joe Thornton never celebrates four goals

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    Joe Thornton's four-goal celebration comment set off the twittersphere

    Joe Thornton says if he ever scored four goals, he’d really lay the lumber on the crowd. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan sat rookie sensation Tomas Hertl after he scored his fourth goal against the Rangers on Tuesday night.

    Let’s all pray that McLellan does the same thing if Joe Thornton ever gets to three.

    The Sharks’ captain was on the outskirts of a media scrum in Vancouver on Thursday afternoon where, naturally, the conversation focused on his linemate’s big game. The questioning began to take a negative turn, prompting Thornton to step in and defend the kid.

    What happened next is courtesy Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province:

    Hearing a question to Marleau about Hertl and whether he was showboating, Thornton said:

    “Shut up, have you ever played the game?”

    When the press turned his way, he then added:

    “I’d have my [mighty sword] out if I scored four goals. I’d have my [Mr. Happy] out, stroking it.”

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  • Published On Oct 10, 2013