SAN JOSE, Calif. — Anze Kopitar scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and Jonathan Quick made 39 saves to cap the Los Angeles Kings’ historic comeback from three games down with a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 7 of their first-round series Wednesday night.
Drew Doughty, Tyler Toffoli, Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson also scored for the Kings, who became the fourth NHL team to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.
The Kings joined Toronto (1942), the New York Islanders (1975) and Philadelphia (2010) as the only teams to complete that comeback and now will get another California showdown in the second round with the first freeway playoff against the Anaheim Ducks.
Matt Irwin scored the lone goal and Antti Niemi made 25 saves for the Sharks, who added perhaps their most bitter playoff disappointment to a history of them. San Jose has the second most regular-season wins in the NHL the past 10 seasons but has never made it past the conference finals.
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Tortorella to be fired?
The Vancouver Canucks will fire coach John Tortorella on Thursday, one season after he took over for Alain Vigneault, according to TSN Vancouver reporter Farhan Lalji. Tortorella is in the first year of a five-year, $10 million contract with Vancouver, which failed to make the playoffs.
Nino Niederreiter scored his second goal of the game 5:02 into overtime and Ilya Bryzgalov made a big save filling in for an injured Darcy Kuemper, leading Minnesota over Colorado in Game 7. It’s the first playoff series win for the Wild since 2003.
Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild, which will face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the second round.
Nick Holden, Jamie McGinn, Paul Stastny and Erik Johnson scored for the Avalanche.
At Rangers 2, Flyers 1
Daniel Carcillo gave New York the lead with the first of its two second-period goals and Henrik Lundqvist did just enough to hold off Philadelphia in Game 7. New York improved to 6-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden.
Benoit Pouliot stretched the Rangers’ lead to 2-0 and Lundqvist made 26 saves. The Rangers will face another Metropolitan Division rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the next round.