SAN JOSE -- For two days the Sharks kept saying they didn't expect to score five goals again on Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick.
They didn't. They scored seven.
Spotting the Kings two goals in the first period, San Jose came back for a 7-2 victory Sunday that sends the first-round Western Conference playoff series to Southern California with the Sharks holding a 2-0 lead. What makes it even more impressive is that the Sharks now have scored three more goals in two games than they did in seven against Los Angeles in their playoff series a year ago.
And once again it was the fourth line providing the spark for San Jose, as Mike Brown and Raffi Torres provided the second-period goals that got the Sharks rolling.
"They got us going," said Logan Couture, who had a goal and an assist. "They generate a lot of energy in the building, a lot of energy on our bench."
Justin Braun gave the Sharks their first lead, and after that the big guns took over as Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Couture and Joe Thornton all scored in a lopsided third period.
The second offensive explosion against the Kings after a 6-3 win in Game 1 that included an empty-net goal was considered pretty unlikely.
"Could have I envisioned it?" coach Todd McLellan said after the game. "No. I would be lying if I said that. After Game 1 I talked about the fact that I don't think we'll be in this situation again. We ended up there."
The offense kicked in after McLellan made the long anticipated move of slotting Pavelski back in his earlier role as third-line center and moved Tomas Hertl up to the top line alongside Thornton and Brent Burns.
"You have to do what's right for the team," McLellan said. "What was right for the team tonight was Pav playing in that three hole for a couple periods, and guess what? He got rewarded. When we get to L.A. he could very well be back up on that wing, and away we go."
Early, it appeared Quick was going to make the Sharks work a lot harder for their goals than in Game 1, as San Jose applied plenty of pressure in the first period but had nothing to show for it.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, took a 1-0 lead just 1:51 into the game on Jake Muzzin's wrist shot through traffic, then made it 2-0 at 9:33 when Jeff Carter's centering pass was deflected into the San Jose net by Trevor Lewis.
Still, the Sharks said they weren't discouraged.
"We were down 2-0 and we said, 'Just don't let them get another goal,' " Thornton said. "We were down by two, but we truly believed we would get three and win the game."
The Sharks' comeback began at 4:25 of the second period when Andrew Desjardins zipped a pass to Brown high in the right faceoff circle, and he fired a 33-foot snap shot that beat Quick. Less than five minutes later, Desjardins dropped the puck to a trailing Torres, whose shot from about the same place also eluded the Los Angeles goalie.
Braun gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 14:45 of the second when his shot from the right sideboard beat Quick through traffic.
The four third-period goals came over a span of just under nine minutes beginning at 1:06 on an odd-man rush when Couture fed Matt Nieto and he fed Marleau across the ice for a 41-foot snap shot before Quick could recover.
"Patty's goal was big," Pavelski said. "We wanted to come out, we wanted to be on the attack. We sat back last time when we had the lead."
The team's leading scorer with 41 goals in the regular season, Pavelski followed with his first goal of the playoffs at 4:07 when the Sharks took advantage of an ill-timed line change by Los Angeles. The scoring assault continued at 8:08 when Marleau threaded a pass to Couture and his shot caught Quick moving the wrong direction to give the Sharks a 6-2 lead. Thornton potted the final goal with the Sharks holding a two-man advantage.
As the Sharks lead grew, so did the chippy play at the end of the game. Four 10-minute misconducts -- two to each team -- were handed out at the 14:25 mark, and 19 seconds later Los Angeles forward Mike Richards was in the penalty box for spearing Couture.
Heading to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Tuesday night, the Sharks were not about to take any comfort from outscoring the Kings 13-5 in the first two games.
"It means nothing," Couture said of lopsided scores. "It's two wins. It's 2-0. That's all that matters."
After injury absence, Brad Stuart fresh for playoffs. PAGE 6