Sharks Vs. Kings, Game 3: Devin Setoguchi Gets The Overtime Winner In A Playoff Classic

The Kings had a remarkable start. It began early on, when Trevor Lewis found Willie Mitchell breaking down the wing to get a wrister on Niemi that went in at 2:26. It was yet another goal from the Los Angeles defense in this series, as Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson have both struck in this series. Not only did they get it from a second-or-third pairing defenseman, but the assists came from their fourth liners in Trevor Lewis and Kevin Westgarth to make it 1-0.

13 seconds later, a trip of bottom six forwards struck again. Brad Richardson found Kyle Clifford, who's slick backhander made it 2-0 in all of 2:39 into the game. The crowd was nuts, very un-Kenny G-like, in the wake of comments of a San Jose columnist who compared San Jose crowd to Metallica. Do Sharks fans shop at Armani too?

Los Angeles made the lead even bigger late in the period. Dustin Penner skate in on an abbreviated 2-on-1 with Michal Handzus. Penner had to make a back-pass by a defenseman to get it over, but he did. Handzus buried it past Antii Niemi for his first of the post-season at 18:22.

44 seconds into the second period, 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. 

In the third, both teams had periods of great chances. The Sharks were coming hard in the beginning of the period, to be turned away nine times by Jonathan Quick. Meanwhile, the Kings were very good in between, though they only got five shots on goal. Antero Niittymaki - who came into the game for Antii Niemi at 44 seconds of the second period - stopped all five shots and looked pretty ready to be there. The teams were unable to put a goal in by the end of the third.

In the overtime early on, the Kings had a couple of chances, but were never able to put the passes together. Then, Patrick Marleau rushed up the ice, waited and waited, then found Devin Setoguch cross-ice. Setoguchi found the back of the net behind Quick, and the Sharks completed the best Stanley Cup Playoff comeback since 1985, when the Minnesota North Stars came from four goals down to win. It was only the third time in playoff history that this has been done with a four-plus goal deficit, including the Miracle on Manchester, when the Kings defeated Gretzky's Oilers in '82. All in all, a ridiculous night, and - to use a well-worn cliche - a Hollywood Ending for San Jose. 

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