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Quick's LA Kings put Sharks on brink with 3-0 win

Friday - 5/24/2013, 11:38am  ET

The puck, shot by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov (26) gets by San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) and slides across the goal line for a goal in the third period during Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Kings haven't lost a home game in two months, and the San Jose Sharks gave nothing close to the effort necessary to snap the champions' streak in Game 5.

Add in another flawless performance by Jonathan Quick, and it's clear why the Kings are going back on the road with a chance to wrap up this all-California series.

Quick made 24 saves in his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Kings moved to the brink of their second straight trip to the Western Conference finals with a 3-0 victory Thursday night.

Anze Kopitar and Slava Voynov scored, and Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal as the Kings won their 13th consecutive home game in emphatic fashion, claiming a 3-2 series lead.

Quick won his 27th postseason game, taking sole possession of the franchise record from Kelly Hrudey. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner shut out the Sharks for the second time in the series, yet Quick scoffed at any suggestion he's responsible for the Kings' abrupt reversal of this series' momentum after the Sharks appeared to take control in San Jose.

"We came out with a purpose," said Quick, who has stopped 313 of 330 shots in the postseason. "We knew what was on the line tonight, and I'm lucky to play with guys who care so much about winning. Top to bottom, I thought everybody played well, but it's just three wins. We know that doesn't mean anything."

Game 6 is Sunday night at the Shark Tank.

Quick has three shutouts in this postseason alone, adding to his club record of seven playoff shutouts, yet nobody thought this latest zero was his best number of the postseason. The Sharks lamented their lackluster effort, particularly from the star players whose dominance had allowed San Jose to even the series with two straight wins and three straight games of largely superior play.

"They tested us for the first four games, and I like the way we responded," Kings defenseman Matt Greene said.

Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots for the Sharks, who have played more than 96 minutes without a goal since they appeared to be seizing the series midway through Game 4.

"We've got to score. It's the playoffs," Sharks forward Logan Couture said. "We had enough chances to win tonight, but we have to start bearing down and scoring some goals. We weren't there at the start. I don't even think we were good at any point in this game tonight. Our power play was brutal."

The home team has won every game in the series, and the Kings remained unbeaten at Staples Center since March 23. Los Angeles, 25-4-1 at home this season, has won seven straight home playoff games dating to last season's Stanley Cup clincher against New Jersey.

After getting soundly outplayed to start each of the past three games, the Kings met the Sharks' tempo and urgency from the beginning in Game 5. The Kings sharpened their physical game, outmuscling and outhitting the Sharks from the opening faceoff.

Kopitar finally collected a reward late in the second period, tapping in a loose puck after a sustained stretch of pressure on Niemi. Voynov then scored 3 seconds after a penalty expired early in the third, firing home his fourth goal in nine games.

Quick finished up from there, stopping Joe Pavelski's point-blank shot in breathtaking style -- a few seconds before Carter wrapped it up with an empty-netter.

"We were going at them pretty hard, and got sustained pressure for long periods of time," said Kopitar, who got just his second goal of the postseason. "There's nothing new to say about (Quick). He gives us a chance every night. He makes every save he should, and a few he shouldn't, every time."

San Jose substantially outplayed the Kings in the first period of the past three games, and Los Angeles cited a strong start as its key priority for Game 5. The Kings got it, albeit in a scoreless first period, outshooting the Sharks 9-6 while playing a punishing physical game that slowed down Joe Thornton and hampered San Jose's relentless speed.

"The power play looked like it was a little bit nervous for some reason," Thornton said. "I don't know why. It looks like we just didn't have some poise on the power play. If our power play is going good, you can see guys get some confidence. When it doesn't, you see guys kind of get down, and that's what happened tonight."

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