Jonathan Quick was going to have to steal a game or two for the Kings to have a chance at advancing to the second round.
A couple more games like Saturday’s, and they could be in business.
Quick’s 51 saves in Game 5 set a franchise playoff record and allowed the Kings to stave off elimination. His counterpart, Antti Niemi, could scarcely have been worse, allowing three goals on the Kings’ first four shots. Wayne Simmonds and Dustin Penner got their first goals of the playoffs, while Kyle Clifford got his third.
The Kings’ 52 shots allowed were also a record, but the Sharks couldn’t do much with them. One reason was the Kings’ success in the faceoff circle: 31-25 as a team, highlighted by a 15-2 record by Jarret Stoll. Another reason was the lack of odd-man rushes for the Sharks, as the Kings succeeded in plugging the holes in front of Quick.
“It was just more of a home plate attitude,” Quick said. “They kept a lot of the guys out — a lot of the shots were from the perimeter, limited their Grade-A chances from last time.”
Mostly, however, it was Quick. Acrobatic at times and always calm, he made 19 saves in the first period, 15 in the second and 18 in the third.
The series shifts back to Staples Center on Monday at 7 p.m.
A few more notes and observations: