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SJ continues dominance over LA
Thornton tossed again
1/24/06 - by Mike Lee

It's too bad the Sharks can't play the Los Angeles Kings more often. San Jose completed a home-and-home sweep of the Kings at HP Pavilion on Tuesday night. Patrick Marleau scored two goals and added an assist to power the Sharks. San Jose has won four of five games against the Kings this season. The two-game series between the two teams equated to an eight point swing in the division standings, allowing the Sharks to climb to within four points of the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

After playing the night before, the Kings were at a distinct disadvantage. That was evident throughout the night. Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov only faced 16 shots on net, and didn't allow a goal until Joe Corvo converted on the power play six minutes into the 3rd period.

"They might be a little bit fatigued, but we don't care," Nabokov. "We're trying to get together our own team and keep going on this roll. We've been skating pretty good, and that's why they were trying to change the game, fighting a little more. ... It didn't work."

Marleau staked the Sharks to an early lead with his 20th goal of the season just 2:46 into the contest. The Sharks captain took a dump off pass from Mark Smith, then snapped a shot that worked its way through Kings goaltender Jason Labarbera's pads.

The Sharks would jump all over the Kings in the 2nd period after Los Angeles kicked of a parade to the penalty box. With Corvo sitting in the box serving a double minor for cutting Josh Langfeld with a highstick, Nils Ekman converted with his 11th goal of the season on a shot from the high slot.

Kings agitator Sean Avery would commit a huge gaff by taking a roughing penalty, while Corvo was tearing up the ice on a breakaway attempt. On the ensuing power play, Milan Michalek roofed a shot from point blank range after Jonathan Cheechoo setup him up with a centering pass at in the slot. Michalek skated in uncontested on Labarbera and easily lifted the puck over the Kings goaltender's right shoulder.

"Fatigue was only a factor after we had to kill all the penalties in the third period," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "I liked our competitive level, but we just wore ourselves out."

The assist by Cheechoo extended his scoring streak to twelve games, matching a franchise record, set by Rob Gaudreau in 1992.

Things got interesting in the 3rd period after Corvo scored to cut San Jose's lead to 3-1. Joe Thornton was ejected for the second time in two weeks after he hit Tom Kostopoulos from behind, sending the Kings right wing head first into the boards. Thornton received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the infraction.

San Jose made a statement on the ensuing penalty-kill, allowing only a single shot during the extend penalty. Los Angeles had a tough time getting the puck into the Sharks zone, much less putting the puck on net.

Trailing by a pair of goals, Kings head coach Andy Murray pulled Labarbera with two and half minutes remaining in regulation. Marleau quickly doused any notion of a Kings comeback by scoring an empty netter immediately after Murray decided play with six skaters.

"In the third period of back-to-back games, I don't know if they really had the energy to take advantage of the power play," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We talked about if we pushed the pace, there's a good chance we'll draw penalties tonight."

Notes:

Marleau got chippy with Tim Gleason after the Kings defensemen took liberties after a whistle in front of the Los Angeles net. Marleau returned pleasantries by cross checking Gleason and setting off a scrum in the corner. Scott Thornton was quick to remind Gleason that he would do the dancing if things got out of hand.

Thornton would oblige the Kings the next period when he and George Parros squared off. Thornton landed a shot to the body and one clean punch to Parros' head, but the Kings winger lost his feet, quickly ending the fight.

It was unclear if the league had rescinded Joe Thornton's game misconduct for his hit on that ended in his first ejection as a Shark. If it was, Thornton would not have triggered a mandatory one-game suspension for multiple misconduct penalties. If the league didn't overturn the first infraction, the Thornton will be forced to sit out Thursday's game against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
LA 0 0 1 1
SJ 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, S.J, Marleau 20 (Smith, McLaren), 02:46
2nd period - 2, S.J, Ekman 11 (Marleau, McLaren), 14:02, 3. S.J, Michalek 9 (Cheechoo, Smith), 17:12
3rd period - 4, L.A, Corvo 11 (Armstrong, Camalleri), 05:52 S.J, Marleau 21 (Gorges), 17:38
Penalties
1st period - L.A, Giuliano, 03:32 - Hooking L.A, Parros, 11:53 - Roughing S.J, Davison, 11:53 - Roughing S.J, Davison, 11:53 - Roughing S.J, S. Thornton, 14:47 - Roughing S.J, Marleau, 14:47 - Hi stick L.A, Gleason, 14:47 - Roughing L.A, Giuliano, 18:18 - Hooking L.A, Brown, 18:36 - Hi stick
2nd period - L.A, Brown, 01:24 - Hi stick L.A, Brown, 01:24 - Hi stick L.A, Brown, 06:20 - Interference - Goaltender S.J, Nabokov, 06:20 - Tripping L.A, Parros, 08:52 - Fighting (maj) S.J, S. Thornton, 08:52 - Fighting (maj) L.A, Visnovsky, 10:32 - Tripping L.A, Corvo, 13:33 - Hi stick L.A, Corvo, 13:33 - Hi stick L.A, Avery, 16:20 - Roughing S.J, Marleau, 19:58 - Interference
3rd period - L.A, Robitaille, 00:37 - Boarding S.J, Davison, 05:11 - Cross check S.J, J. Thornton, 07:58 - Hi stick S.J, J. Thornton, 11:13 - Boarding (maj) S.J, J. Thornton, 11:13 - Game misconduct
Goaltending
  Shots Saves
LA - Labarbera 29 26
SJ - Nabokov 16 15
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 5 3 8 16
SJ 12 13 5 29
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 6
SJ 2 of 9
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Kyle McLaren
Nils Ekman
Attendence
16,166
Officials
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Rob Shick. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Vaughan Rody.

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