T.J. Galiardi's second period goal ended up as the game-winner in Game 6. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Why San Jose won: The Sharks were able to take a two-goal lead and that was enough to hold up in another close-quarters game. For the second game in a row, the Kings tough, disciplined, tight-checking approach took over, but this time the Sharks were the ones playing ahead. While they failed to score the decisive goal during a four-minute man advantage, the Sharks didn’t let the turn of momentum in the second period to spill over into the third and finished at home.
Why Los Angeles Lost: The Kings failure to produce offense on the road has boggled the mind and put them in a little predicament. Their only win away from Staples this post-season so far has been Game 5 in St. Louis, which they needed to do at least once to get out of the first round. The loss of Jarret Stoll has hurt them on faceoffs, but the Kings need to be getting more chances during play. Why did the Kings lose? The best answer is that they can’t seem to get it together on the road.
Play of the Game: T.J. Galiardi has been in Jonathan Quick’s face all series and took it a little too far in Game 5 with his nonsense goalie interference penalty. But tonight he was a hero for the Sharks, giving them a crucial two-goal lead with a goal that stood up as the winner. It was a beauty shot off the rush that Robyn Regehr and Quick couldn’t do anything about.
1. Joe Thornton: He’s come up with two big performances when the Sharks needed him most. In tight-checking, evenly matched games such as these, that first goal is critical so that you’re not the one left chasing. Thornton gave the Sharks that advantage with his first period power play goal. But he also played 22:01 and was a thorn in the Kings side on defense.
2. T.J. Galiardi: Stayed away from the mischief and scored the game-winning goal. He also logged three shots in 16:39 of ice.
3. Dustin Brown: Scored the lone goal for the Kings from the third line. Brown has kept up his influence in this series despite the decreased minutes.
What’s Next: As good of a win as these have been at home for San Jose, they’re still left with the near impossible task of winning in the Staples Center. The Kings are unbeaten at home in their past 13 games, which may or may not be a bad omen, depending on your superstition. This series has been tightly contested and deserved to go the distance from the beginning. The Sharks have a chance to get a rather large monkey off their back with a win in Game 7, but they’ll first have to beat a groomed and greased Los Angeles teams that is built for these situations.