San Jose Sharks Stun L.A. Kings, Win Series 4-1

Joonas Donskoi (C) of the San Jose Sharks celebrates his goal with teammates Marc-Edouard Vlasic (L) and Joel Ward during their NHL matcg against the Los Angeles Kings, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on April 22, 2016

The San Jose Sharks have stunned the hockey world by eliminating the Los Angeles Kings, a Stanley Cup favorite, in five games.

The Sharks, who owned the best road record during the regular season, showed why no one should doubt them. Forward Joonas Donoski scored his first goal of the game only a minute into the game, which immediately deflated the Kings. The Sharks looked composed while the Kings skated around like chickens with their heads cut off, only managing four shots on goal.

Chris Tierney added another goal at 11:21. The Sharks could have added more goals due to foolish Kings penalties, including a 5-on-3. But the Kings penalty kill stepped up and protected goalie Jonathan Quick.

Forward Matt Nieto made it 3-0 four minutes into the second period, but something switched with the Kings. Defense showed up, they kept the puck in the Sharks zone, and pounded the net with three goals to tie the game.

Unfortunately for the Kings fans, the spark did not last.

“Once we got out there for the third, unfortunately we weren’t able to sustain what we built in the second,” sighed Kings forward Milan Lucic. “They were able to get out of the zone and scramble in front of the net and make it count. It seems like all series long we were able to capitalize on their chances and we weren’t in front of the net. That’s why we end up on the losing side of things.”

The Sharks only had five shots on goal in the third period, but three of those went in.

“I haven’t been around here for some of the stuff that’s gone on in the past, but I’m sure for some guys, they felt like we exorcised some demons tonight,” explained Sharks coach Peter DeBoer. “For the group in general, it was just a well-earned victory.”

The Kings eliminated the Sharks in the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. Neither team made the playoffs in 2015.

The Sharks will play against the Anaheim Ducks or Nashville Predators in the second round.