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Rookies bag firsts in win
SJ carves up Kings 6-3
11/22/06 - by Mike Lee

After suffering their worst loss of the season less than 24 hours before, the Sharks rebounded against a less formidable opponent on Thanksgiving-eve with a 6-3 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. Six different Sharks scored goals, including Marc-Edouard Vlassic and Joe Pavelski, who both scored their first career NHL goals.

Things looked inauspicious early on for San Jose, who gave up five goals to the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday night.

Former Shark Scott Thornton staked the Kings to an early 1-0 lead by deflecting a rebound with his shin. Sharks goaltender Vesa Toskala failed to control a Kevin Dallman shot, which kicked out to Thornton, who was cutting in on goal from the left wing. Game officials took a look at the video to see if Thornton intentionally kicked the puck past Toskala, but replays were inconclusive.

The Kings lead was short lived as Vlassic scored less than two minutes later on a power play after Kings centerman Derek Armstrong was sent off for hooking. With the puck cycling down low, Vlassic pinched in from the point and one-timed a shot from Joe Thornton who made the feed from behind the Los Angeles goal.

San Jose shook off the cobwebs and went to work in the 2nd period.

The Sharks power play would strike just 39 seconds into the 2nd period when Steve Bernier punched in a rebound to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Thornton created the scoring chance by firing the puck in on net from the right wing boards. Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier made the initial save, but Bernier was parked on the Kings doorstep, easily lifting the puck into the Los Angeles net.

Thornton would follow up his two assists with his 6th goal of the year 1:20 later with a shot from the slot. The reigning league MVP powered through a check before rifling a shot through Cloutier's pads.

Patrick Marleau got into the act less than a minute later with his 200th career NHL goal, shooting from the same spot as Thornton's tally. Pavelski, the rookie winger who was also making his NHL debut, skated on Marleau's line and created the scoring chance by driving to the net and drawing two Kings defenders with him. Marleau trailed Pavelski on the play and buried a pass from Bernier to pad the Sharks lead.

The goal-fest continued at 8:51 of the period, when Scott Hannan threw a puck on net from the Kings blueline. The shot grazed Marcel Goc on the way to the net, fooling Cloutier. Kings coach Marc Crawford relieved his goaltender after falling behind 5-1, pulling him for Mathieu Garon.

The sellout crowd was treated to a treat not in the form of a goal, when Kyle McLaren wiped out Dustin Brown with one of his patented hip checks as the Kings winger tried to carry the puck into the Sharks zone.

Pavelski would bag his first career goal to match Vlassic midway through the 3rd period. The AHL Player of the Month for October converted on a rebound after Hannan bounced a shot off Garon. The rookie would almost add a second moments later on a golden scoring opportunity in front of the Kings goal.

Los Angeles would answer with just over 4 minutes to play on Lubomir Visnovsky's 6th goal of the season. Visnovsky one-timed a daring pass by Armstrong from the right corner across the ice.


Mark Smith returned to the lineup from the injured reserve list, but San Jose backfilled the triage list with Jonathan Cheechoo who injured his leg in Colorado last week. Milan Michalek was also a scratch on Wednesday night after suffering an arm injury in Anaheim on Tuesday. Michalek is scheduled to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

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1 2 3 T
LA 1 0 2 3
SJ 1 4 1 6
1st period - 1, LA, Thornton 3 (Dallman, Armstrong), 8:01. 2, SJ, Vlassic 1 (Thornton), 10:15, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Bernier 7 (Thornton, Marleau), 0:39, (pp). 4, SJ, Thornton 6 (Smith, Grier), 1:59. 5, SJ, Marleau 13 (Bernier, Vlassic), 2:57. 6, SJ, Goc 2 (Hannan, Bell), 8:51.
3rd period - 7, LA, Brown 4 (Harrold, Cammalleri), 6:04. 8, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Hannan, Marleau), 9:41. 9, LA, Visnovsky 6 (Armstrong, Cammalleri), 15:54.
1st period - Armstrong, LA (hooking), 8:49; Smith, SJ (slashing), 14:54; Brown, LA (slashing), 15:47; Frolov, LA (hooking), 19:22.
2nd period - Brown, SJ (tripping), 3:34; Murray, SJ (high sticking), 9:30.
3rd period - McLaren, SJ (delay of game), 0:50; Dallman, LA (hooking), 3:17; Brown, LA (holding), 7:36.
  Shots Saves
LA - Cloutier 12 7
LA - Garon 8 7
SJ - Toskala2724
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 8 9 10 27
SJ 4 11 5 20
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 4
SJ 2 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Marc-Edouard Vlassic
Joe Thornton
Patrick Marleau
Referees: Dan Marouelli, Craig Spada. Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Vaughan Rody.

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