LOS ANGELES -- Goalie Alex Stalock's first start in the NHL playoffs Monday night had him facing the opposing player who accidentally stepped on the back of his left leg, severing the nerve and sidelining Stalock for a year while he recovered.

"I knew I stepped on him. I didn't know how severe it was," said Los Angeles Kings forward Dwight King on Monday. "Later on I heard how serious it was. It's great the doctors did a good job on him and he rehabbed himself back to where he is now."

King was with the Manchester Monarchs and Stalock was in goal for the Worcester Sharks on Feb. 3 2011, With less than four minutes left in the game, a scrum developed in front of the Worcester net.

"It was a quick play," King said. "I do remember falling on him. I was off to the side and I think he dove for a puck. I got pushed and stepped on the back of his leg. It's great to see that he's made the full recovery."

There was blood on the ice, but the more serious damage was discovered back in the training room. A tendon also was damaged when the blade of King's skate cut Stalock behind the left knee.

Complex surgery to regenerate the nerve was performed at the Mayo Clinic near Stalock's home in St. Paul, Minn. He then went through a lengthy recovery process, working closely with Sharks goalie development coach Corey Schwab over the next 11 months.

Stalock played his next game with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL on Jan. 21, 2012, returned to Worcester for the 2012-13 season, and earned the spot as backup to starter Antti Niemi last fall.

He had a 12-5-2 record in 24 regular season games with a .932 save percentage and a 1.87 goals against average. Stalock stopped 26 shots and allowed no goals in two relief appearances for Niemi in this series before getting the start in Game 6.

Stalock and King have faced each other many times since the accident, but King said it's not something he and the goalie have talked about.

  • Tempers flared early in Game 6, but it wasn't until after the Kings had built a three-goal lead late in the third period that things really boiled over.

    Andrew Desjardins and Kings forward Kyle Clifford fought at 6:11 of the first period and a little after that, Joe Thornton angered the Kings when he kneed their captain, Dustin Brown.

    In the third period, Logan Couture got things started at 14:47 with a one-on-one fight with Kings forward Mike Richards, who speared the San Jose forward earlier in the series.

    "Frustration builds," Couture said. "They're a team that talks a lot. He's one of the main guys. I decided to fight him. I thought I did pretty well for my second fight ever."

    Twelve seconds later, Raffi Torres and Kings forward Justin Williams earned an early exit with roughing and 10-minute misconducts. And at 18:14, Brent Burns, Desjardins and Kings forward King all were tossed after an initial encounter between Thornton and Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick.

    "Drew (Doughty) was just trying to box me out, and I was trying to go to the net and just overpowered him, that's all," Thornton said.

  • Couture said he isn't worried about the Sharks earning a spot in NHL history, as only three other teams have lost a seven-game series after winning the first three games.

    "Like I said, it would be different if they weren't a good hockey team, but they're a great hockey team over there," he said. "They've played better than we have the last three games. We played better than they did the first three games. In my mind, if it gets to Game 7, it doesn't matter how it gets there, it gets there. You're going for one game."

    For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.