Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 5/22/13
Joe Thornton set the tone for the San Jose Sharks with a dominant first period. After that, the Sharks did their best to hang on and tie up their playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings. Thornton set up Brent Burns' first-period goal and Logan Couture added a power-play goal early in the second to give the Sharks just enough offense to beat the Kings 2-1 Tuesday night to knot their series at two games. ''He's our leader for a reason,'' Burns said of Thornton. ''Everybody keeps saying it. He's one of the hardest workers we have in here. It's awesome to play with him when he's playing like that. It's a lot of fun.'' The Sharks outshot the Kings 15-3 in the opening period before falling into a shell the second half of the game, managing just four shots in the final 36:05 after taking a 2-0 lead. Antti Niemi made 13 of his 22 saves in the third period to help the Sharks match Los Angeles' two home wins to open the series with two of their own. ''In the third it's typical, unfortunately the way it goes, usually teams are a little bit on their heels and the other team is pressuring, and you're just trying to find a way,'' defenseman Dan Boyle said. ''Obviously that's not the way we want to play, but that's the way it happens. A win's a win. That's what I've been talking about. We're in a good place right now, and it's only going to get harder.'' Mike Richards scored a power-play goal and Jonathan Quick made 21 saves for the Kings, who have lost 10 of 11 road games dating to the end of the regular season. Game 5 is Thursday night in Los Angeles when the Sharks will look to end a streak of four straight wins by the home team in this series. ''We knew going into this series we'd have to win one game at Staples Center if we want to win this series,'' Couture said. ''We've done our job at home. We need to go into L.A. and win a game on Thursday. We're looking forward to it.'' After falling behind 2-0, the Kings showed some fight in a dominant third period. They got on the scoreboard on a power play when Burns was sent off for boarding Anze Kopitar. Los Angeles wore down San Jose's penalty killers in the offensive zone and scored when Richards knocked in a rebound of Jeff Carter's shot. ''I think we battled back and made it close but you don't get much for making it close,'' Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. The Kings outshot the Sharks 14-2 in the third period, holding San Jose without a shot for nearly 13 minutes but couldn't get the equalizer against Niemi. Couture gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead early in the second period, deflecting a point shot by Boyle past Quick while Colin Fraser was in the penalty box for roughing Andrew Desjardins in the offensive zone. The Kings started to generate the better scoring chances after that, getting denied a goal midway through the period on an early whistle by an official. Los Angeles was unable to generate a shot on goal during two power plays later in the period with Jake Muzzin, shooting high with an empty net to cost the Kings a golden opportunity at a goal. ''For us, it's about how they dominated the first half of the game and then we dominated the second half of the game,'' defenseman Rob Scuderi said. ''But they buried their chances. They play well here and we didn't learn from Game 3, so that's on us for not learning from our own mistakes.'' The Sharks opened the game with one of their most dominating periods of the year to the delight of the boisterous crowd chanting ''Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!'' from the start. But San Jose had only one goal to show for that start thanks to solid play from Quick and a shot by Tommy Wingels that rang off the crossbar. Led by the physically imposing line of Thornton, Burns and TJ Galiardi, the Sharks spent almost the entire first period in the Los Angeles zone. San Jose jumped on top early when Thornton stole the puck from Slava Voynov on the forecheck and fed Burns, who shot was blocked. Thornton came up with the loose puck and slid a perfect cross-ice pass to Burns, who was not denied on his second chance, beating Quick with a one-timer. ''Burns has been shooting the puck real well so it was just a matter of time until he put one in the net,'' Thornton said. ''After the first shot, the puck just came right back to me. He was open again and I just made the pass.'' The Kings had to feel fortunate that was all San Jose managed for the period as they killed off two penalties and withstood constant pressure from the Sharks. NOTES: F Kyle Clifford returned for Los Angeles after missing four games with an upper-body injury in place of rookie Tanner Pearson. ... Kings D Matt Greene, who played only five regular season games because of back problems, was in the lineup for the first time this postseason in place of Keaton Ellerby. ... F Tim Kennedy returned to the Sharks lineup in place of Marty Havlat, who left Game 3 after the first period with a lower-body injury.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James reportedly will not waive no-trade clause

Jerry Jones weighs in on NFL's Ezekiel Elliott investigation

McFadden missed Cowboys charter flight to training camp

LaVar Ball pulls entire AAU team from floor, forfeits game

Report: Mayweather's GF being harassed by McGregor fans

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pablo Sandoval apologizes for comments about Giants

LeBron James seems to respond to Kyrie Irving's trade request

Senator jokes that President Trump should nominate Tom Brady for ambassadorship

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

Report: Irving believes LeBron leaked word of trade request

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker