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.
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.
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.
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.
The Kings became just the third team since at least 1987-88 to win a playoff game in regulation when losing in the final two minutes, according to STATS LLC. Los Angeles knows it can’t always count on a late-game escape to win.
The Kings have plenty of experience building on a 2-0 playoff lead, having won the first three games in all four rounds last year on the way to the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.
PITTSBURGH 4, OTTAWA 3
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Sidney Crosby had his second career playoff hat trick and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators on Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Crosby beat Craig Anderson three times in the game’s first 22 minutes, sending the goalie to the bench after stopping 18 of 21 shots.
Kyle Turris, Colin Greening and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators, but couldn’t stop Ottawa from falling into a deep hole against the Eastern Conference’s top seed.
Game 3 is Sunday in Ottawa.