SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will need a Game 7 to decide this series.
San Jose played an air-tight third period, permitting eight shots on goal, to hold on for a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles in Game 6 on Sunday to tie the Western Conference semifinal series at three wins apiece.
The Sharks hope to be the first road team to win a game in the series on Tuesday and advance to their third Western Conference Finals in four seasons. San Jose is 5-2 all-time in deciding games of a series that goes to the limit.
The Sharks took a one-goal lead to the third period after each team scored a goal in the middle session.
San Jose jumped out to a 2-0 lead at 4:10 of the second period when T.J. Galiardi scored his first goal of the postseason with a shot from the right circle that beat challenging Kings goalie Jonathan Quick low to the glove side. Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan made a nice backhand feed through center to Galiardi, just eluding the stick of Kings forward Kyle Clifford.
But the Kings answered at 13:53 when captain Dustin Brown beat Antti Niemi from behind the goal line with a shot that ricocheted off of the San Jose goalie. The scoring sequence started when San Jose's Tommy Wingels blocked Matt Greene's point shot to the corner.
The Sharks failed to convert a double-minor midway through that period after Los Angeles' Justin Williams high-sticked San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The hosts managed only two shots late in the second of consecutive 5-on-4s.
The Sharks scored the only goal of a first period that started better than it ended for the hosts.
San Jose converted a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 6:09 when Joe Pavelski found Joe Thornton on the weakside for the captain's second goal of the playoffs 71 seconds into Anze Kopitar's delay-of-game penalty. Mike Richards hooked Brent Burns 14 seconds earlier as the Sharks earned three power plays in the opening five minutes to snap the shutout streak at 102:14 for Quick, who shut out San Jose in Game 5.
But the ice tilted for the remainder of the period, and it probably had a lot to do with the loss of Sharks' defenseman Justin Braun at 3:58 to cut San Jose's blue line personnel to five skaters rotating different partners with each shift.
Braun simply went down on his own moments after stepping on the ice for his second shift of the game. Braun returned at the start of the second period.
The Sharks mustered the first eight shots of the first period, but went without any rubber on Quick for the final 12:56 of the period while the Kings put the final eight shots of the period on Niemi, who was tested by L.A.'s swarming forwards.
Niemi spearheaded two penalty kills and got some help from the crossbar, which stopped two shots. Niemi robbed Trevor Lewis twice at mid-period on the Kings' first power play and made a right-pad save on Clifford late in the period at even strength.
NOTES: Sharks grinder Adam Burish returned to the lineup for the first time in the series, playing right wing on the fourth line. Burish missed the first five games after getting slashed in Game 4 against the Vancouver Canucks in Round 1. Originally he was ruled out of the series, but he returned faster than expected. F Martin Havlat remains out with a lower-body injury. D Jason Demers, D Matt Tennyson and F Tim Kennedy were healthy scratches. ... Injured Kings F Jarret Stoll skated lightly the last three days, but he continues to feel the effects of Raffi Torres' series-ending hit in Game 1 that earned the San Jose forward a suspension for the remainder of the series. ... The Kings made one change for Game 6, as Jordan Nolan replaced Tyler Toffoli on a checking line. Nolan was a healthy scratch since appearing in the first two games, while Toffoli dressed for each of the first five. ... San Jose is 5-14 all-time in Game 6 and 2-4 at home.