Voynov gives Kings offensive boost in win vs. Sharks

LOS ANGELES — When you think of big game players on the Kings, the names that jump out are Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter just to name a few.

But Slava Voynov is the new name emerging this postseason that’s making a difference.

Kings defenseman Voynov scored his third goal of the playoffs and his third game-winner as the Kings took Game 1 of their second-round series against San Jose, 2-0.

Voynov’s scored with just 13 seconds left in the opening period and gave the Kings a 1-0 lead heading into the locker room.

“Especially after a period where we didn’t play very well to come into the dressing room with a lead was a big benefit and it carried over into the second period,” said Kings center Mike Richards.

Voynov would later add an assist on the Kings second goal as his blast went off of Richards and past Sharks goalie Antti Niemi.

Voynov now has four points in seven playoff games this season after recording just three points in 20 games during last year’s Stanley Cup run.

Already without the services of Kyle Clifford, the Kings may have lost Jarret Stoll for an extended period of time. Stoll was on the wrong end of a punishing hit by Sharks forward Raffi Torres late in the second period and did not return to the game.

Torres received a two-minute charging penalty on the play. He appeared to catch Stoll in both the shoulder and head area. With Stoll out of the lineup, Colin Fraser took his spot between Dustin Penner and Trevor Lewis.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter had no comment about whether the hit should face any supplementary discipline from the league and when asked about Stoll’s injury, Sutter remained tight lipped.

“We weren’t resting him and he didn’t come back,” Sutter said.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan had a different perspective on the hit.

“It was a clean hit and not even a charging penalty.”

The Sharks frantically tried to tie the game in the third period, outshooting the Kings 16-4 but could not find a way to beat Quick.

“Not much more you can say about Quickie’s play, except this win was his pretty much,” Richards said.

“He’s been our MVP the last couple of years,” added Kings captain Dustin Brown. “Tonight he was our best player and that is Quick being Quick. I think you guys should be used to it by now.”

While the Sharks may have won the shot battle, they got the same treatment in Game 1 that the St. Louis Blues received after losing to the Kings.

“I just spent a week, six days anyhow, reviewing the St. Louis series and I heard a lot of the same stuff coming out of their mouths, so we didn’t accomplish enough,” McLellan said.

“There’s a team that just played against them for six nights and said they had a lot of chances and the goaltender made a number of saves, we can’t be that team again. We have to find ways to score, we have to make it a lot harder on them. And did we generate some chances? Yes, but we didn’t win the game.”

It’s a story that Kings playoff opponents have lamented for a second straight playoff season.