LOS ANGELES -- Whatever confidence the Sharks gained with their four-game sweep of the Vancouver Canucks collided with the reality of Jonathan Quick on Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles netminder stopped 35 shots in blanking San Jose 2-0 at Staples Center to give the defending Stanley Cup champions the first game in their Western Conference semifinal series.

But don't try and tell coach Todd McLellan that his team played well, but just ran into a hot goalie. Not after he spent a week reviewing the Kings' first-round win over the St. Louis Blues.

"I heard a lot of the same stuff coming out of their mouths," McLellan said. "We can't be that team again. We've got to make it a lot harder on him."

Goals by Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and forward Mike Richards provided the difference offensively as San Jose couldn't find a way to get the puck past Quick at even strength or on three power-play opportunities.

Still, the Sharks were stressing afterward that it was only one game in a best-of-seven series.

"We just came off a sweep, but you've got to be realistic and know this team (Los Angeles) is going to win some games," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "Neither team is going to run away with it by any means."

The Sharks had a full week off after eliminating the Canucks, but San Jose didn't show any signs of rust in the first period, jumping out to a 7-3 lead in shots in the opening 10 minutes.


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Los Angeles did take control as the period went on, however, with the game's turning point coming with just 12.9 seconds left.

The Sharks lost a faceoff in their offensive zone with Richards moving the puck to the neutral zone. He and defenseman Matt Irwin became entangled in the San Jose zone, and the loose puck was corralled by Voynov, whose shot through traffic beat Niemi.

"He pulled up, and it's my job to close on him," Irwin said. "I had my stick right on the puck there, and it slid through both our legs. I feel like maybe I was holding him, he was holding me. It was just one of those things."

Raffi Torres also took responsibility for not doing a better job pursuing Richards as he moved up the ice.

"I've got to make better reads off the faceoff," he said. "When I'm coming back in my zone, I can't be looping."

The Los Angeles lead grew to 2-0 at 12:30 of the second period, and again Voynov was in the middle of things when his shot from the blue line was deflected by Richards, leaving goalie Antti Niemi helpless.

The game's most controversial hit came in the final minute of the second period when Torres ran into Kings center Jarret Stoll, who did not return to the game. The Sharks left wing was sent to the penalty box for charging but said he did not expect to face any discipline from the league.

"To be honest with you, I didn't even think there was going to be a penalty," said Torres, who has tried to overcome his reputation as a dirty player. "Obviously he was leaning over. I got shoulder to his shoulder, and then it kind of looked, because he was leaning over, that it came up a little high. ... I hope he's all right."

The Sharks did outshoot Los Angeles 16-4 in the final period and pulled Niemi from the net with exactly two minutes left in favor of an extra attacker.

But nobody could get the puck past Quick.

And coming close wasn't good enough for McLellan.

"When the night ends, you have to have the job done," he said. "You have to find ways to finish, and we have players that are very capable of doing that. We have players that are capable of scoring greasy, dirty, playoff-style goals. But it's going to have to come out in this series."

Inside

Notebook: Logan Couture has mixed feelings for friend Drew Doughty of the Kings. Page 5

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Read David Pollak's "Working the Corners" blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks/