Wrapping up a wild one at Staples Center

April 6, 2012, 4:38 pm
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LOS ANGELES Logan Couture was the first to find out that the Sharks were in the playoffs.The Sharks center had just been blindsided by the Kings Kyle Clifford at the end of the first period of San Joses 6-5 shootout win last night. He had to be helped up the tunnel and into the locker room after the hit, which earned Clifford a five-minute boarding major.He watched from the trainers room at Staples Center as Columbus iced its 5-2 win over Colorado with an empty net goal, but I didnt say anything to anyone, at the first intermission, he said.It didnt matter. The Sharks found out one way or another that they were in the playoffs after the first 20 minutes, no matter the result of their game with the Kings. Early in the first, there was an announcement made on the jumbotron at Staples Center that Dallas had lost, too.Todd McLellan didnt make ay sort of announcement to his club that the Blue Jackets booked the Sharks ticket to the postseason. There wasnt anything said, McLellan said. I think when they announced that LA had made the playoffs because of Dallas loss, everybody was aware of that. There wasnt anything mentioned between periods or on the bench that Colorado had lost, and we just kept playing.Dan Boyle said: We knew after the first that both Dallas and Colorado had lost. A little bit of relief, but obviously we wanted to win this game and give ourselves a chance at getting that third seed. And, were giving ourselves a chance. Theres obviously no guarantees with Phoenix, but weve got to win a game our next game and see where were at.The Sharks need to beat the Kings on Saturday and hope that Phoenix finishes with less than three points in order to win the Pacific. The Coyotes season concludes with games in St. Louis on Friday and Minnesota on Saturday.RELATED: NHL conference standings Division standings
Kings upset on Clowes interference: Yep, the Los Angeles Kings were disconcerted that Ryane Clowe got away with breaking up an odd-man rush from the bench late in the third, when he tipped the puck away from Jarret Stoll.Here are a few of their post-game comments on the subject.Darryl Sutter: What do you think my thoughts are? You cant call too many men on the ice. What do you call it - too many sticks?Im surprised because Jarret Stoll was carrying the puck and nobody else saw it. Its not the question of whether Ive seen it before. Im just surprised it didnt get seen.Dustin Brown: Im not sure how all four of them missed it I dont know; I dont know what to tell you. They missed it and none of them said they saw it. I thought it was pretty evident, but when youre in the game sometimes you arent going to see everything. It is what it is; we cant sit there and dwell on it. We had plenty of opportunities on the power play. Our power play came up big. The PK wasnt the strongest part of our game.Drew Doughty: Ive never seen that before. That could have been the difference in the game if the refs would have caught that. Sometimes they arent going to see things; Im sure its hard for them to catch that but if they got that it would have been a 5-on-3 and another good chance for us to capitalize. The game is over now and they didnt and now we just have to look forward to the next game and we have to win.Fixing the PK: The Sharks allowed four power play goals to Los Angeles, and scored three of their own in the wild win. That will be one area of their game that McLellan will be sure to address before Saturdays rematch, and he expects his counterpart to do the same.Im sure both of us, Darryl Sutter and myself, will be looking at the penalty kill aspect of it. We gave up far too many goals there, and theyre normally very strong in the penalty kill situation so were fortunate to beat them there a few times.The Kings have the fourth best penalty kill in the league (87.2 percent), while San Joses is 28th (77. 0 percent).RELATED: NHL stats leaders
Conversely, the Sharks now own the second best power play in the league (21.0 percent), while the Kings are 21st. (16.4 percent).