Kings started off this period strong, appearing to control the flow of the game.
They kept the Sharks shooters at bay for the first 5 minutes of the 2nd, not allowing a single shot. Pretty impressive considering the Sharks rank first in the NHL in shots per game at 35.6.
However, as the period wore on, the puck was in the Kings defensive zone for extended periods of times, as the Sharks 2nd and 3rd lines continued to pick up the slack.
In fact, even the Sharks 4th line chipped in a goal. At 10:35 in the 2nd, Scottie Nichol knocked in a rebound off of a Derek Joslin shot. Joslin, was called up early in the day from Worcester to fill in for Douglas Murray, who was a scratch from the game with a lower body injury. Jamaal Mayers also got credit for an assist on the play.
With that, the Sharks jumped out to a 3-1 lead.
At 12: 33 Dan Boyle received a 2 minute minor for tripping. However, during the delayed penalty, Luke Richardson received a 2 minute minor for slashing.
During the 4 on 4, with about 6 minutes left in the period, Drew Doughty fired a heavy shot from the point that took a hard bounce off the boards behind the net. Ryan Smyth recovered the puck and put it in the net. However, before the red light went off, Marc Edouard Vlasic quickly pulled the puck out of the net and sent it down the ice.
The goal originally was not ruled a goal, so play continued. The rule is, that when a true goal is a called a "no-goal", the officials may review it at the first stoppage.
In what was a Sharks' fans worst nightmare, the first stoppage, was a breakaway goal from Torrey Mitchell which would've given the Sharks a 4-1 lead. Due to Smyth's previous goal, play should've stopped much earlier with the score being 3-2.
As one might imagine, Sharks fans were not very pleased as what could've been a 4-1 lead, was trimmed to a 3-2 lead due to a very rare series of events.
In spite of a poor effort in the 2nd period, one thing I've seen from the Kings this season, is they have an extremely stingy defense. Lead by Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, this unit has a lot of skill and offensive potential. With Rob Scuderi and Matt Greene providing verteran leadership and grit in the defensive end, it's a very well rounded defensive group. And that's not even mentioning Willie Mitchell who is currently out with an injury.
I think if we've learned anything from recent seasons, it's that defense wins championships (i.e. Blackhawks with Keith, Seabrook, co., Red Wings with Lidstrom, Kronwall, Rafalski, co., Ducks with Niedemayer, Pronger, co). This team certainly has a defensive unit that could bring this team it's first cup in LA. Still very early on with lots of hockey to play, but this team has all the makings of a major Stanley Cup threat.
With that said, the Sharks seem to be shaking their early season struggles as they dominated the 2nd period.
After being outshot 13-10 in the first period, the Sharks bounced back to outshoot the Kings 12-8 in the 2nd.
Also, after trailing the Kings in hits in the 1st, 8-9, the Sharks outhit the Kings 9-7.
The Kings however pulled away even more in the faceoff circle, winning 11 out of 18 faceoffs in the 2nd period.
Sharks up 3-2 after 2. Stay tuned for the 3rd period recap.