Sharks Force Game 7 in NHL Playoff Series by Beating Kings 2-1

The San Jose Sharks held off the defending Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings 2-1 to force a decisive Game 7 in their National Hockey League playoff series.

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to push the other Western Conference series to a seventh game tonight as they visit the Detroit Red Wings, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

The Sharks beat the Kings last night by a 2-1 score for the third time in as many games in San Jose, with Joe Thornton and T.J. Galiardi scoring goals for the hosts. The home team has won each of the first six games, with Game 7 scheduled for May 28 in Los Angeles.

“It’s followed the script -- home team wins, back and forth,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said at a news conference. “It’s time for us to get there and change the story. They earned the right for home ice. It’s our job to take it away.”

After being shut out in Los Angeles in Game 5, the Sharks jumped out to a 1-0 lead last night as Thornton scored a power-play goal six minutes, nine seconds into the first period. Thornton’s goal came after the Kings’ Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar went to the penalty box 14 seconds apart.

Galiardi added a goal 4:10 into the second period for the Sharks before Dustin Brown got the Kings’ lone goal with 6:07 left in the period. Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi stopped all eight Los Angeles shots he faced in the final period.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins meet in the Eastern Conference finals for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.

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