Kings' celebrations put on hold by 6-1 loss at San Jose
The Kings’ clinching a playoff berth was delayed again and their wretched performance Monday in a 6-1 loss to the Sharks at HP Pavilion in San Jose raised questions about how long they’ll last in the postseason when -- if? -- they get there.
The Sharks scored four times in the second period to chase starting goaltender Jonathan Quick and turn a close game into a rout that allowed them to clinch the Pacific Division title and drop the Kings from fourth place to fifth in the Western Conference standings.
Six players scored a goal for the Sharks, who moved up to No. 2 in the West with 103 points, one ahead of Detroit. Quick gave up four goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier.
The Kings’ clinching number remains at two: any combination of two points they gain or two points that the Dallas Stars don’t gain will get the Kings into postseason play. The Stars play Columbus on Tuesday. The Kings’ next game is Wednesday at home against Phoenix.
The Sharks used their speed to shred the Kings’ defense time after time, and Quick’s lack of sharpness made matters all the worse. This had little to do with the absence of injured forwards Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar and everything to do with being overwhelmed by an opponent that was swift, smart and deep.
The Kings had a chance to secure a playoff berth Sunday but were foiled when Dallas defeated the Ducks. They weren’t just foiled Monday -- they were spanked.
Check back later for more at www.latimes.com/sports.
--Helene Elliott, reporting from San Jose
Photo: Kings center Michal Handzus scores the team's only goal against goaltender Antti Niemi and the Sharks in the second period Monday night at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Credit: Jason O. Watson / US Presswire