SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A dizzying 22-second span that led to a pair of Los Angeles power play goals turned what appeared to be destined to be a tied series into an 0-2 hole for the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks players say it didn't take much longer than that for them to put their Game 2 collapse behind them and turn their focus to defending home ice the next two games so they can tie their second-round series with the Kings.
"Coming in today, we could have been hanging our heads and moping around," defenseman Brad Stuart said Friday. "But I don't sense that at all. Obviously, guys aren't feeling good about what happened last night but when you look at the big picture, we feel good about knowing what we have to do and what we can control."
So instead of looking back at the two late penalties that led to the two power-play goals that turned a 3-2 lead into a 4-3 loss, the Sharks would rather bank on the fact that they managed to score three goals against Jonathan Quick, outplayed the Stanley Cup champions for much of the night and now have home-ice advantage for the next two games beginning Saturday night in Game 3.
San Jose lost just twice in regulation at home all season, winning both meetings against the Kings and both games in a first-round sweep against Vancouver.
"We did a lot of really good things," forward Logan Couture said. "I thought we deserved to win that game. But we're down 2-0. It's time to come into our building. It's going to be loud. The fans are going to be into it. We have to find a way to win."
The biggest areas of concern for San Jose are on the special teams that dominated the first round. The Sharks are 0-for-7 on the power play although they did score 5 seconds after Alec Martinez came out of the box Thursday night and allowed three power-play goals to the Kings in Game 2.
The Sharks appeared on their way to tying the series when they took a 3-2 lead into the closing minutes in Los Angeles on Thursday night. But that all changed after Stuart was called for tripping Tyler Toffoli with 2:41 to play.
The situation only got more dire seconds later when San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic flipped the puck into the stands for a two-minute delay of game penalty that irked the Sharks because they thought the puck deflected off Jeff Carter's shoulder.
"It clearly changed directions," Vlasic said. "I'll leave it at that."
Dustin Brown then converted a rebound on a 5-on-3 advantage to tie the game with 1:43 left. Before the Sharks could even settle down, the Kings scored the game-winner when Trevor Lewis scored on a rebound 22 seconds later.