San Jose came into their Game 4 showdown with the Kings a wounded team. Not only had they been beaten twice already by Los Angeles, they were literally wounded in that Martin Havlat had been ruled out before the start of the game. But despite the injuries, the Sharks brought it all on Tuesday and will head back to Los Angeles with the series now tied at two games apiece.
Brent Burns and the hero from Game 3 Logan Couture accounted for both of San Jose’s goals in Game 4 as the Sharks finally shattered the veil surrounding netminder Jonathan Quick.
Quick tried to be his usual, epic self but fell way short in Game 4 and will head back home with the Kings failing to have won a game on the road in San Jose this round.
The game was marred by controversy when Dustin Penner goal was disallowed when it was blown dead by referees after hitting Niemi’s equipment. The puck’s momentum never stopped and no matter how many times you look at it, the call on the ice was blown and the Kings should have gotten a goal on the play.
However, while that goal was disallowed the score by Mike Richards during a third period power play helped get Los Angeles back into the game and cut San Jose’s lead to a single score. But while the Kings were able to make late rushes, it just wasn’t enough to get past the brilliant netminding of Anti Niemi and the series is now tied 2-2 heading back to Los Angeles.
The series is far from over, even if it looked like the Kings were ready to beat up the Sharks in four or five games. But we’re at a critical point in the series where the next game won will mean the loser is on the brink of elimination. Right now San Jose harnesses all he momentum in the series but like the Kings, they have yet to win on the road in this series and as it stands now, it’s a tall order to force the Kings to the brink inside the Staples Center this weekend.