Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Spirited Kings find their way back to San Jose


By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" would have been an apt question for Los Angeles Kings fans to ask before their team responded with a spirited 6-3 playoff win over the San Jose Sharks.

Teetering on the brink of a 4-0 sweep by the in-form Sharks, the Kings breathed new life into their best-of-seven playoff series with a passionate display in front of a sellout home crowd on Thursday and will return to San Jose for Game Five on Saturday trailing 1-3.

The infamous Shark Tank will not be an easy place for Los Angeles to stave off postseason elimination with a second successive win but Kings right wing Justin Williams knows how difficult it is for teams to close out series.

"Every game gets harder and harder, and they say the close-out game is always the hardest," Williams told reporters after scoring twice in Thursday's 'do-or-die' game at Staples Center in the Western Conference quarter-finals.

"We have a lot of character right here and we're certainly not going to call it quits. We're just trying to make this a series. We're just going to do what we can to push back.

"They were up 3-0, obviously in the driver's seat. They're obviously a great team on home ice and they've shown it throughout the past decade it seems. Now we're going to have to try to win a couple more."

The Sharks have never won the coveted Stanley Cup but have proved to be perennial contenders in the postseason, having reached the playoffs for the last nine years.

"We're certainly happy we got a win but we feel we have a long road to go obviously," said Williams, who scored twice in a three-goal spree in the second period on Thursday as the Kings broke clear of a 2-2 tie with the Sharks.

"We're going to take another step in San Jose and it's going to be a tough one. You're happy to play in the playoffs but you want to excel and we haven't been able to do that so far in this series. We're trying to push it game by game."

The Kings, who claimed the franchise's first Stanley Cup just under two years ago after a Cinderella run as the eighth seed, are aiming to become only the fourth team ever to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win a best-of-seven playoff series.


That rare feat was previously achieved by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942, the New York Islanders in 1975 and Philadelphia Flyers in 2010.

"If you're still playing hockey, you still have a chance," said Kings center Mike Richards, who represented the Flyers when they successfully fought back from the brink against the Boston Bruins four years ago.

"You just can't look at the mountain and expect to do it all at once. It's a process to just put games together, put shifts together. You can't win four unless you win one."

As for the Sharks, they know they have to play much better defense in Game Five against the ace goaltender Jonathan Quick and the Kings, who were the league's best defensive team during the regular season.

"If we give up five (goals), we're not winning against a team that can defend the way they do and have the goaltending the way they do," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan.

"We can talk about the ones we missed (on Thursday) but I'm a little more concerned about the ones we gave up. I didn't like our net play, simple as that. We didn't execute anywhere near the way they did.

"When I say net play, I don't mean our goaltender. I'm talking about the goaltender, the D-men, the forwards down low and the secondary chances we gave up. I'm definitely not talking about one individual with pads on."

San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi was pulled just 34 seconds into the third period after facing 26 shots and giving up five goals, but the Sharks can happily reflect on the fact that they outscored the Kings 13-5 on home ice in the first two games.

In Dionne Warwick's mega-hit of 1968, "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?", she sang the memorable line: "I'm going back to find some peace of mind in San Jose".

On Saturday, only one team will find that peace of mind in the Shark Tank.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Gene Cherry)

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (5)

Recommended for You

  • Former CB Brian Baucham Sues USC and Lane Kiffin

    Former USC Trojans' cornerback Brian Baucham is suing the university and ex-coach Lane Kiffin, according to an Associated Press report. In the September 2012 game, Brian Baucham collapsed during the second half and was taken to the hospital by an ambulance. Baucham hadn't played in USC's previous…

    SB Nation
  • Get $100 Bonus Cash

    Plus 5% cash back in bonus categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases with Chase Freedom®. Learn More.
  • Mark Cuban made comments about the NFL six months ago and he was right

    Peter King of Sports Illustrated looks back at the comments from Maverick owner Mark Cuban about the future of the NFL. ESPN's Marc Stein has a great write up about the premiere of the Berlin Tall's new movie.

    SB Nation
  • Rumor Roundup (Sept. 23, 2014): Sting, Austin Aries, Cesaro and the future of the Bellas

    Speculating on the rumors surrounding pro wrestling is a favored pastime of many fans, perhaps second only to actually watching the matches. In this daily column, we take a look at the latest rumors being churned out by the pro wrestling rumor mill. None of this has been confirmed as legitimate…

    SB Nation
  • DeSean Jackson doesn't realize the Washington Redskins lost to the Eagles

    Apparently Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson did not realize his team lost to the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday. Yeah, Jackson scored, he taunted Eagles players and fans, and he got his 'revenge' on this play. Check the scoreboard, DeSean.

    SB Nation
    Sun, Sep 21
    Washington34 - 37Philadelphia
    Game Recap
  • View

    Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti faces the media (11 photos)

    All of the parties involved in the Ray Rice elevator-assault scandal are being called to account for their actions, or inactions, and the Baltimore Ravens, Rice's now-former team, are now in the spotlight. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti held a press conference

    Yahoo Sports
    Sun, Sep 21
    Baltimore23 - 21Cleveland
    Game Recap
  • Wayne Simmonds was ejected because his opponent was too slow

    Wayne Simmonds was kicked out of the third period against the Leafs on Monday night in the preseason opener. Korbinian Holzer of the Maple Leafs was really not alright with the above hit from Wayne Simmonds during the third period of the Flyers game against Toronto on Monday night. Simmonds gave…

    SB Nation
  • What's Your Definition of Success?

    Success means different things for different people, that’s why we’ve started “The Success Project”.

  • Report: Steelers signing James Harrison after losing Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones

    In order to bolster their linebacking depth, the Pittsburgh Steelers are signing former NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison. The Pittsburgh Steelers had a convincing 37-19 win over the Carolina Panther on Sunday, but it was costly. Jarvis Jones was placed on IR-Recall after suffering a…

    SB Nation
    Sun, Sep 21
    Tennessee7 - 33Cincinnati
    Game Recap
  • GIF: Brock Lesnar Curb Stomped by Seth Rollins at WWE Night of Champions 2014

    At some point or another it was decided that the finish to the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena rematch at Night of Champions on Sept. 21, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee would feature a run-in from Seth Rollins. It was also decided that Lesnar, vulnerable thanks to Cena spamming finishers for the last 10…

    SB Nation
  • Diamondbacks to name new GM Thursday

    The Diamondbacks' search for a new head honcho seems to be coming to an end. The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be nearing a decision on who their new general manager will be, as USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the club plans to announce their choice on Thursday. Per Nightengale, former…

    SB Nation
    Tue, Sep 23
    5:10 PM PDT
    Arizona at Minnesota
    Preview Game
  • Gerald Wallace's contract is like a lottery ticket for the Boston Celtics

    Gerald Wallace was stoic last season. Wallace's three-year, $30.3 million contract was criticized by Celtics fans in a Bill Simmons piece published on Grantland. Eric in Springfield, Massachusetts: "Instead of a jersey number, could the Celtics convince Wallace to wear all the first-rounders we got…

    SB Nation
  • Darnell Dockett has tickets for Cardinals fan getting in a brawl with 49ers fans

    Sunday was kind of a wild day at the 49ers-Cardinals game. Aside from just the loss, 49ers and Cardinals fans got into a nasty brawl in the stands. It's a really nasty fight, with quite a bit of blood on the ground as the fight wrapped up. It seemed

    SB Nation
  • Undertaker rumors of poor health seemingly debunked by his wife, Michelle McCool

    Over the weekend, a weird rumor started making the rounds that Undertaker is in poor health or bad shape or whatever other term you want to use to signify someone is not doing well physically. The source for this was, apparently, Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst, who reportedly dedicated a song…

    SB Nation
  • Watch Yaya Toure give Eden Hazard a playful halftime slap around

    Before Frank Lampard scored the goal that will probably haunt him for the rest of his life, Chelsea and Man City were playing a hard-fought match — the physicality of which apparently carried over into the tunnel at halftime. As the two teams made their way back to the pitch for the second half,…

    Dirty Tackle
  • Play

    LeBron & CP3 -- Train Together By Day ... Party Together By Night

    Work hard, play hard ... that's the way it was for LeBron James and Chris Paul Sunday -- who hit the gym together during the day and the CLUB together at night. LeBron and CP3 spent their Sunday training at the gym at UCLA with Bron's Cleveland Cavs teammate Tristan Thompson ... and even posted a…

  • Asian Games 'Medal Ceremony Girls' join beauty battle

    North Korea has its "Army of Beauties", but the rival South is fighting back at the Asian Games with its "Medal Ceremony Girls". Many South Koreans were heartbroken when the rival North refused to send its renowned cheerleaders to the pan-Asian sporting event in Incheon, in a political wrangle. The…

  • Manning exposed: Seahawks win, Richard Sherman continues his season of subdued dominance

    Not nearly as easy as the Super Bowl, Seattle ended up just being a little better at defense than Denver was. Going into the Seattle Seahawks game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, we had a very convenient frame of reference as far as what we might expect to see. After all, no other two teams…

    SB Nation
    Sun, Sep 21
    Denver20 - 26Seattle
    Game Recap
  • Gareth Bale kicks the ball at Luka Modric's face

    You know what hurts more than seeing Gareth Bale and Luka Modric scoring amazing goals and winning trophies like we always hoped they would do for Tottenham Hotspur? Watching them turn on each other. GARETH BALE KICKED THE BALL AT LUKA MODRIC'S

    SB Nation