SAN JOSE — Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski scored power-play goals in the second period and the San Jose Sharks again moved to the brink of eliminating the Los Angeles Kings from the playoffs with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night in Game 4 of their first-round series.
Patrick Marleau added a power-play goal in the third period and Martin Jones made 26 saves against his former team to put San Jose up 3-1 in the series heading into Game 5 on Friday night in Los Angeles.
But knocking the Kings out is never easy. The Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead to Los Angeles in the first round two years ago, becoming the fourth NHL team ever to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games.
Trevor Lewis and Luke Schenn scored and Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the Kings. But Los Angeles was done in by San Jose’s potent power play after shutting that unit down in a Game 3 overtime win.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter described the first three games as a “power-play series” and was proved prophetic with the way Game 4 went. The Sharks converted on their first two chances with the man advantage and stopped Los Angeles to take control of the game.
The bearded Burns got it started after Jeff Carter got sent to the box for roughing Marc-Edouard Vlasic after the whistle in a scrum near San Jose’s net. Joel Ward froze quick before sending a cross-ice pass to Burns, who launched a one-timer that beat Quick before he could slide across the crease for his second goal of the series.
Then, after the Sharks killed two penalties, they struck again when Rob Scuderi was called for tripping Tomas Hertl. Joe Thornton got the puck behind the net and put a centering pass right on Pavelski’s tape for the goal. Pavelski has four goals in the series.
Marleau added his first goal of the series just seconds into another power-play chance when he gathered in Logan Couture’s blocked shot and beat Quick with a backhander to make it 3-0.
Los Angeles got back in the game with two goals in less than five minutes thanks to point shots from Schenn. The first was deflected by Lewis for a goal and the second went through a screen to beat Jones.
But the Kings couldn’t get anything else by Jones and now must win three straight to win the series.
The game got off to a fast start as the teams went end to end in a first period that was played entirely at even strength. Both teams had good chances, with the Kings getting the better of the play in the opening half of the period and the Sharks answering after that.
But Drew Doughty made a diving stop in the crease to rob Thornton and Quick stymied Marleau on a 2-on-1 to keep San Jose off the board.
Anze Kopitar handcuffed Jones with a tricky shot just after that, but Jones managed to cover up the loose puck in the crease before a big scramble. The Kings then didn’t get another shot on goal in the final 6:56 of the period.