LOS ANGELES - Here's a quick look at the Los Angeles Kings' 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal Monday night at Staples Center, evening the series at 3:
How it happened: With the score tied at 1 just past the midway point of the third period, Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr took a harmless-looking shot from the left point with traffic in front of the net, and the puck managed to get through to Sharks goalie Alex Stalock -- a surprise starter after Antti Niemi was pulled from the previous two games. Stalock made the stop but couldn’t locate the puck, which had settled between his pads. Kings right wing Justin Williams saw it, however, and he jabbed at it to get the rubber sliding toward the goal line. Matt Irwin, in the San Jose lineup because Marc-Edouard Vlasic couldn't play because of an upper-body injury, tried to sweep the puck away but appeared to give it a final nudge across the goal line for a 2-1 lead with 8:04 left. That opened the floodgates, as Anze Kopitar converted a rebound with 6:33 remaining and added a power-play goal with 5:18 on the clock for a 4-1 lead.
What it means: The Kings have bounced back from a 3-0 series deficit and forced a Game 7 for the first time in franchise history. All the momentum seems to be on their side after the big swing to end the game. Based on all the fisticuffs that erupted the final few minutes Monday, the temperature is sure to rise come Wednesday.
Player of the game: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick gave up 16 goals in the first three games, received some goal support in a 6-3 win in Game 4 and came back with a shutout in Game 5. He continues to play like the goalie who led the Kings to the Stanley Cup title two years ago, stopping 25 shots in the Game 6 win.
Stat of the game: The Kings killed a second-period 5-on-3 that lasted 1:38 and then killed another penalty shortly afterward to bring the crowd to its feet. But before the Kings could settle back into even-strength, James Sheppard deflected Justin Braun's slap shot from just in front of his blue line and that was enough to get the puck by Quick. That tied the score at 1 and ended a scoreless drought that had drifted just beyond the 100-minute mark for the Sharks.
What’s next: The teams head back to San Jose for Game 7 on Wednesday night, giving the Anaheim Ducks another couple days to wait for their opponent for the conference semifinals.