SAN JOSE – Well, at least the Sharks won’t have to answer any questions about blowing a three-game series lead again.
Tanner Pearson’s goal at 3:47 of the first overtime gave the Kings a 2-1 win in Game 3 at SAP Center on Monday. On the winning goal, Brenden Dillon couldn't wrap up Dustin Brown while Logan Couture was caught ahead of the play, and Pearson cruised in and buzzed a shot from the circle past Martin Jones.
The Kings’ win gets them right back into their first round series with San Jose, although the Sharks still enjoy a two-games-to-one lead. Game 4 is on Wednesday at SAP Center.
In front of a raucous sellout crowd draped in teal t-shirts, the Sharks jumped ahead quickly. Joe Thornton cut to the slot and was given all kinds of room to wrist in the opening goal just 30 seconds after the faceoff.
San Jose maintained the early momentum, getting five of the first six shots, before a Tommy Wingels minor left them shorthanded. The Kings took advantage, when Anze Kopitar finished off a pass through the crease by Milan Lucic at 8:10, knotting the score at 1-1.
Neither team was able to convert in the second period. Jones got away with a giveaway early that almost resulted in a strange Kyle Clifford score, and later Jonathan Quick made a stellar glove stop on Chris Tierney alone in front with 4:17 to go.
[WATCH: Shot of the Game: Thornton puts Sharks on board 30 seconds in]
The Sharks had the only two power plays of the third period. On the first, they controlled the puck in the offensive zone for virtually the duration of the two minutes after Milan Lucic’s mindless slash of Justin Braun in the neutral zone at 9:40.
Quick came up with a big blocker save on Couture, though, and Jake Muzzin stopped another Couture attempt later on the power play with the Kings’ defenders gassed and Kopitar without a stick. San Jose attempted 10 total shots on the advantage.
Pearson put the Sharks back on the power play on a delay of game with 5:56 left in regulation, but San Jose didn’t generate much of anything despite a timeout to keep the top unit on the ice.
The Sharks are 7-4 all-time when leading a series two-games-to-one.
San Jose finished 0-for-5 on the power play, and is 2-for-14 on the series. Los Angeles was 1-for-3, and is 3-for-11 overall.
The Sharks’ fourth line has combined for six minor penalties in the last two games, including three by Nick Spaling and two by Wingels.
Jones made 22 saves in falling to 2-1 in the playoffs. Quick got the win with 29 saves, including a stop on Joonas Donskoi’s wrist shot just before Pearson’s score.
Kyle Clifford was back in for Los Angeles after being scratched for Game 2, in place of Nick Shore.
The Sharks have not changed their lineup for any of the three games, as Dainius Zubrus, Micheal Haley and Dylan DeMelo remained healthy scratches.
Thornton played in his 100th career playoff game with the Sharks.
The Sharks remain home for Game 4 on Thursday (7:30 p.m.). It will be their 18th straight postseason game against Los Angeles.
San Jose is 16-15 all-time in Game 4, and 8-8 at home.