The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings may have clinched a playoff spot well before Thursday's game ended, but they certainly didn't play like it. It was a hard-fought battle right to the final horn and then some, with the Sharks narrowly edging their divisional rivals 6-5 in a shootout.
But don't let the high score fool you into thinking there weren't any big defensive plays. Why, Ryane Clowe's pokecheck on Jarrett Stoll with 3 minutes to go in the 3rd period stands out, and not just because it broke up a very threatening-looking 3-on-2 rush and potentially saved a game-winning goal. It was also the fact that Clowe was on the bench at the time: