SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Kings knew where the high pressure system would settle Wednesday night in SAP Center.
Directly over the Sharks' bench.
"We sensed that they'd be a little nervous," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said after a series-clinching 5-1 victory.
From Doughty's perspective, the turning point was Anze Kopitar's goal late in the second period that gave the Kings a 2-1 lead.
"You could see their emotion went down," he said.
But the turning point in the historic series -- the Kings became the fourth team to advance after losing the first three games -- was their overtime loss in Game 3.
"We felt we could have won," Doughty said. "They got a really, really lucky goal in overtime (by Patrick Marleau).
"Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we were more determined."
The Kings dominated the final four games, outscoring the Sharks 18-5. They got clutch goals from their frontline players, smothered the Sharks' primary scorers, killed off penalty after penalty and got stellar goaltending from Jonathan Quick.
"It wasn't one thing," forward Justin Williams said. "It was mostly attitude. We were responsible for our own demise. We had nowhere to look but in the mirror."
-- Doughty called the historic comeback an "unbelievable feeling" and credited general manager Dean Lombardi for putting together a roster full of gritty players.
"We've got a lot of heart; the guys want to win," he said. "That's how Dean built the team, and it showed."
Coach Darryl Sutter wasn't quite as effusive about coming back from the three-games-to-none deficit.
"The history part is no big deal," he said. "We're trying to win a series against a team that had home ice and was ahead of us all year -- and we finally caught them."
-- Goaltender Antti Niemi was back in net for the Sharks after a one-game benching.
Coach Todd McLellan made the decision before the morning skate to use Niemi instead of Alex Stalock, who started Game 6.
The Sharks "needed a change heading into Game 6," McLellan said.
"I think a break was good for Nemo. He got a chance to work on some things in his game. . . . He got a little chance to rest."
-- Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the Sharks' top defenseman, remained out because of a head injury suffered in Game 5. The Kings were without defenseman Willie Mitchell, injured in Game 6.
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