The Los Angeles Kings scored two last-gasp goals in the space of just 22 seconds to stun the San Jose Sharks and snatch a 4-3 win on Thursday, taking a 2-0 lead in their NHL Western Conference semi-final series.
Also on Thursday, Boston beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime of the opening game of their East series, in the first playoff meeting of the two storied teams in 40 years.
Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown tied the game with 1:43 left and Trevor Lewis scored a power-play goal 22 seconds later to propel the defending Stanley Cup champions to a remarkable win.
The Kings won their 12th straight home game and their sixth straight post-season game, but only after getting outplayed for long stretches and needing late-game magic to thrive.
“It’s a rollercoaster, but when you go through the experience of everything we did last year, you keep your emotions in check,” Brown said.
Game three is today at the Shark Tank.
Jeff Carter scored on the Kings’ first shot and added an assist on Brown’s goal. Drew Doughty scored an early power-play goal for Los Angeles, who did not really get rolling until the third period — and with two late goals, the Kings landed one of the most amazing victories in their relatively thin playoff history.
Jonathan Quick made 28 saves for the Kings, tying Kelly Hrudey’s franchise record with his 26th career playoff victory. Antti Niemi stopped 27 shots for the Sharks, but was powerless to stop the Kings power play.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored his first career playoff goal with 11:04 to play for the Sharks, who were doomed by their late penalties after rallying from an early deficit.
Patrick Marleau and Brad Stuart scored second-period goals for the Sharks.
“I liked our game,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “We’ll meet at the rink and I’ll tell our team that. Maybe in the past this would have bothered our team more, but with the group of guys we have, we can recover from this.”
Meanwhile in Boston, Brad Marchand scored with 4:20 left in overtime to give the Bruins the opener against the Rangers.
Marchand, Boston’s top goal scorer in the regular season, got his first of the playoffs on a pass from Patrice Bergeron.
Marchand had carried the puck up the right side, passed it to Bergeron and kept going toward the net. Bergeron passed across the slot and Marchand tipped it past goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Boston nearly won in regulation, but Johnny Boychuk’s shot from clanged off the post with one-tenth of a second remaining.
The win was Boston’s third straight in overtime, and New York’s third straight loss in extra time.
“It was pretty even going into the overtime,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “But we got spanked in the overtime.”
Zdeno Chara gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 12:23 of the second before Ryan McDonagh tied it with 1.3 seconds left in the period.
Derek Stepan put the Rangers ahead 2-1 just 14 seconds into the third period, and Torey Krug tied it on a power play with his first NHL goal in four career games.
Game two is tomorrow in Boston.