Trevor Lewis, the mellowest of the low-key Kings, is hardly given to outsized statements or outlandish proclamations.
You can understand why he was out of sorts after his game-winning goal in the Kings' 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks, a blow that completed a dizzying comeback. The Kings scored two late power-play goals within 22 seconds to steal Game 2 on Thursday night at Staples Center and take a 2-0 series lead.
"I think I almost passed out in the celebration," Lewis said. "I got a little lightheaded. It's good to score a big goal in the playoffs. It's what you dream about."
BOX SCORE: Kings 4, Sharks 3
The air went right out of the Sharks after they were within 1:43 of sending the series back to San Jose, tied at a game apiece. Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals is at San Jose on Saturday.
With the Sharks leading 3-2, the Kings received a five-on-three advantage when defenseman Brad Stuart went off for tripping at 17:19 and then defenseman, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (who had given the Sharks a 3-2 lead with his first-ever playoff goal, at 8:56 of the third period) was sent off for delay of game, shooting the puck over the glass.
Kings captain Dustin Brown tied the score at 18:17 with the two-man advantage. The Kings then had a five-on-four edge, setting the stage for Lewis.
"It was a good breakout," Lewis said. "Muzz [Jake Muzzin] crossed ice to [Tyler Toffoli] and I was just driving the net and he made a great shot and it bounced right on my stick. A great shot. I didn't have to move my stick too much and it went in."
Where does this rank in terms of recent Kings' comebacks?
"It's playoffs — we're up 2-0 instead of 1-1," Lewis said.
The Sharks were particularly unhappy about the calls late in the game, especially the delay of game.
"If you go back and look at it [on the replay], it looked like it changed direction," Sharks Coach Todd McLellan said. "But one thing I've learned certainly from these playoffs is, it's not going to do me any good to get up here and whine and moan ... about the refereeing because it's not going to get us anywhere."
Said Vlasic: "We played well. We played 60 minutes. It doesn't matter what I say about the last play. It happened and it's over with."
Vlasic wouldn't comment on the play specifically.
"It's done, it's done," he said. "It's unfortunate. We move on to the next game. We'll respond. I thought we responded well tonight. We played 60 minutes. We should have won that game. We got pucks to the net. It's just tough — but our group will be ready."
As if there was not enough drama in Game 2, Kings centers were tumbling and falling right out of the lineup. Anze Kopitar got hit in the face with a shot from Brown, left the game for repairs of a face laceration and later returned to a standing ovation in the third period.
Already gone for the Kings was center Jarret Stoll, who is out with a suspected concussion because of a hit from the Sharks' Raffi Torres and could be out for a week, possibly longer.
Still, the Kings were steaming along nicely, replacing Stoll in the lineup with Brad Richardson, who promptly put his mark on the game with a clever cross-ice pass to Drew Doughty on the Kings second-period goal.
This gave them a 2-0 lead before it all went south, seemingly all of a sudden. San Jose scored three unanswered goals, practically an unheard-of flood in the Jonathan Quick era.
Wasn't a 2-0 lead supposed to be a mortal lock now that Quick was Quick again?
"They gave up three in one of the games against St. Louis," McLellan said. "In all of the games after that, it's been goose eggs, or one, or two. When you get three, you better beat this team."