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San Jose, CA • United States • 2011 Years Old • Male
Ryan Leong filling in for Cam Gore who is on assignment. Cam will be back for Game 4.rnrnLogan Couture is coming of age.rnrnCouture has been mentioned numerous times on this blog how important he is to this team and this game only punctuates how he is the unquestioned 'leader' now. Sure the Sharks still have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau but even the fans are aware how important number 39 is to the roster.rnrnThis game was certainly dramatic and the finish was similar to Game 2 in Los Angeles. Couture emerges the hero scoring his first career overtime goal in the playoffs as the Sharks beat the Kings 2-1 in Game 3.rnrnSharks defenseman Dan Boyle who also netted a goal on the power play complimented the young center.rnrn“He’s obviously a huge, huge part of our team," Boyle said. "He scores the game winner with a terrific shot. That’s a pretty good shot but I’ve said before he’s a tremendous hockey player.”rnrnPenalties take on added importance in the playoffs and both teams were equal in that category until late in the third period when the Kings took a pair of minors that ultimately led to the game winner by Couture.rnrn<object width="640" height="383" id="embed" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"><param name="movie" value="http://nhl.cdn.neulion.ne...center-v1/embed.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashVars" value="catid=35&#038;id=249779&#038;server=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;pageurl=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;nlwa=http://app2.neulion.com/videocenter/nhl/" /><embed name="embed" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer" src="http://nhl.cdn.neulion.ne...center-v1/embed.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="383" quality="high" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" flashVars="catid=35&#038;id=249779&#038;server=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;pageurl=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;nlwa=http://app2.neulion.com/videocenter/nhl/"></embed></object>rnrnBoth teams played a grind it out style of hockey which is how the Kings have succeeded the past two years.rnrnIt certainly helped that the Sharks were able to score first to take the lead thanks to a Jake Muzzin penalty for delay of game-puck over the glass putting San Jose on the power play. rnrnThe Kings answered back when Brad Stuart committed a costly turnover after Antti Niemi came out of his net to play the puck and passed it to Stuart behind the net. Stuart's pass was intercepted by Tyler Toffoli who backhanded the puck over the right leg of Niemi evening the score 1-1.rnrnBut much of this game like many others when teams get deep into the playoffs, was taking away space and trapping players from creating wide open scoring chances.rnrnWhen both sides got those chances, each goalie was up to the challenge making key saves.rnrnAnd although Brad Stuart made a costly turnover allowing the Kings to tie the game in the first period, he also had the hit of the game on Justin Williams.rnrn<object width="640" height="383" id="embed" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"><param name="movie" value="http://nhl.cdn.neulion.ne...center-v1/embed.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="flashVars" value="catid=35&#038;id=249767&#038;server=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;pageurl=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;nlwa=http://app2.neulion.com/videocenter/nhl/" /><embed name="embed" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/go/getflashplayer" src="http://nhl.cdn.neulion.ne...center-v1/embed.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="383" quality="high" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" flashVars="catid=35&#038;id=249767&#038;server=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;pageurl=http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/&#038;nlwa=http://app2.neulion.com/videocenter/nhl/"></embed></object>rnrnA few penalties on either side weren't called. The ones that were appeared correct looking at replays. The key to the win: the Sharks scored both goals on the power play and often times, special teams make the difference.rnrnIn the other dressing room, the Kings were obviously frustrated but noted it's extremely difficult to kill off a 5-on-3, especially in the playoffs.rnrn"In general, anytime you've got a penalty in the playoffs, you don't want to take one," Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi said. "Certainly we're not happy with the calls but what team really is? We'll try to do our best to dust ourselves off and get ready for the next one."rnrnScoring detailsrnrn1st periodrnrnSJ – 1:34 –PP – 22 D.Boyle (2) – assists – 12 P.Marleau (2), 8 J.Pavelski (5)rnrn2nd periodrnrnLA – 10:08 –EV – 73 T.Toffoli (1) – unassistedrnrn1st OT periodrnrnSJ – 1:29 –PP – 39 L.Couture(4) – assists – 12 P.Marleau (2), 19 J.Thornton (7)rnrnTurning pointrnrnThe Kings already down a man when Trevor Lewis is called for goalie interference with five seconds remaining in the third period giving the Sharks a 5-on-3 power play for 1:19 in overtime.rnrnContenders and Pretenders rnrnContendersrnrnLogan Couture – certainly on this list for his presence on the ice. In the second period, he took a hit from Jeff Carter and his left foot jammed into the boards near the Kings bench. Couture spent most of the period in the dressing room getting treatment. With Martin Havlat also re-injuring his groin, Sharks coach Todd McLellan had to juggle his lines and shuffle around 10 forwards. But Couture's return was the energy the team needed and of course he scores the game-winner.rnrnPretendersrnrnTrevor Lewis – The hero of Game 2 was the goat in this one. Los Angeles argued unsuccessfully that Lewis was pushed into Antti Niemi by Patrick Marleau. But the refs didn't see it that way and his penalty for goalie interference shifted the momentum entirely in the Sharks favor giving San Jose the two-man advantage.rnrnJonathan Quick – definitely not his best game. Although he only allowed the one goal in regulation he didn't seem as sharp. He also lost his composure after the Sharks game winner by breaking his stick and screaming at the officials, earning him a game misconduct.rnrnKeep your head up,rnRyan Leong
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