If the San Jose Sharks expect to buck the trend in this homer series and steal Game 7 in Los Angeles on Tuesday, their road power play had better wake up out of its deep slumber.
When Joe Thornton opened the scoring for the Sharks on a five-on-three advantage in the first period of Game 6 Sunday night, it marked San Jose’s 11th power play goal in the 2013 NHL playoffs. Of concern: ten of those have come in the friendly confines of the Shark Tank.
In order to dispose of the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, the Sharks need to get their power play going at the Staples Center, a daunting task for a team that has scored just once with the man advantage away from San Jose.
The other pressing issue with the Sharks power play is the lack of production from its second unit, one that features Scott Gomez (two points in these playoffs) and James Sheppard (zero points).
In fact, all 11 Shark power play goals have come from San Jose’s No. 1 unit – Logan Couture (5), Joe Pavelski (3), Patrick Marleau (1), Dan Boyle (1) and Thornton (1).
Thanks to Sunday’s 2-1 victory, the Sharks have a legitimate shot to send the titleholders packing. But if they want to pull it off, they’ll have to bring their power play with them instead of leaving it behind at home.