Seven goals, four minor penalties and what is shaping up to be a comeback for personified the second period between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. After going up 4-0, the Sharks scored three straight. Another Kings goal set it at 5-3, but a furious San Jose attack toward the end of the period got the Sharks tied again. It is 5-5 at the end of two periods in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series. It is bizarre to even attempt to describe all the goals in this period, so we'll just do so in bunches.
44 seconds in, the end of an 8-0 Kings run in this series with a goal from Brad Richardson on a wicked snapper. Antii Niemi was pulled after giving up 6 goals on 10 shots. It was the fourth consecutive goal the Kings had gotten, and none of them came from any of their top-end offensive players. Momentum, however, was about to take a massive swing.
Then the Sharks started getting things in gear, with Antii Niittymaki in goal. Patrick Marleau got one on a tip-in of a Dan Boyle shot to make it 4-1 at 3:08. Ryan Clowe's power play wrister got it to 4-2. A great pass from Ian White to Logan Couture put it at 4-3. The building's tension could be felt even watching on television.
The Kings seemingly got their momentum back on the next rush. Jarret Stoll and Ryan Smyth came in on a rush, with Stoll getting it to Smyth for the tip-in. It was the veteran forward's first goal of the post-season, and seemed like the type of goal that would calm things down. Wrong one again.
The Sharks poured it on, throwing everything they had at Los Angeles at the end of the period. They pummeled Jonathan Quick with shots, and finally, Ryan Clowe broke through for his second of the game at 18:35. Dan Boyle, who'd been playing a ridiculously bad game until then, set it up. Just 55 seconds later, after another Sharks flurry, who else but Joe Pavelski ended up tying it? The period ended 5-5.
Only nine periods in NHL history have seen more goals than the seven in this one. The record is nine. The period, which had started with some people likely thinking about changing the channel, has turned into what may be the most epic finish to an NHL playoff game in decades. Stay tuned.