Playoff Moments: #4 Early Hurdle

Presented by McDonalds

Friday, 08.01.2014 / 11:11 PM
Alex Kinkopf  -

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will countdown the Top 15 moments from the LA Kings improbable run to their 2nd Stanley Cup Championship.

There was panic, and there was doubt.

Not so much, though, in the Kings’ dressing room.

The Kings faced elimination before they recorded their first playoff win. In the first three games of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the San Jose Sharks -- all of them losses, the Kings were outscored 17-8.

Suddenly, they found themselves in a dangerous 0-3 series hole, a hole that very few teams have ever successfully been able to crawl out of.

175 NHL teams have gone down 3-0 in postseason play, and only three have come all the way back. #LAKings

— Triple Threat (@LA_TripleThreat) April 29, 2014


Following the Kings’ gut-wrenching OT loss in Game 3 of their series with the Sharks, head coach Darryl Sutter calmly shared his thoughts on the Kings’ difficult position, his team needing to reel off four straight victories to advance.

“It’s a tough hill,” Sutter told reporters in the media room at STAPLES Center on April 22. “We won’t go away quietly. That’s for sure.”

Then, the Kings woke up.

The Kings turned the tables on the Sharks in an instant; regaining momentum, balance, and chemistry, while building on it continuously as San Jose slowly began to collapse.

They rediscovered their offense, and goaltender Jonathan Quick returned to his true form as the Kings outscored the Sharks 18-5 in the final four games of the series.

On April 24, the Kings won 6-3 (SJS leads series 3-1)

On April 26, Game 5, they won 3-0 (SJS leads series 3-2)

On April 28, Game 6, they won 4-1 (Series TIED 3-3)

Then, on April 30, they entered San Jose’s SAP Center looking to complete one of hockey’s most miraculous series comebacks of all time.

The Sharks struck first in Game 7, taking a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Shortly thereafter, the Kings popped open the floodgates. A pair of goals from Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar gave the Kings a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

The Kings poured on three more goals in the third to complete the astonishing series comeback, winning Game 7 by a final score of 5-1, advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals to play the Anaheim Ducks.


Dwight King peering out from behind the history of teams down 0-3

— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) May 1, 2014

Anze Kopitar had a monster series. He recorded 10 points (4G, 6A) in the seven-game tilt, including the game-winning goal in Game 7. He registered at least one point per game throughout the series.

Another one for Kopitar. Big players come up big in big games.

— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) April 29, 2014

I'm going to paint my house Kopitar.

— Crowned Royal blog (@CrownedRoyal_LA) May 1, 2014

The series loss was an absolutely devastating blow to San Jose’s franchise and it’s fan base.

For the Kings? Just about the opposite.

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