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Home cooking still stinks
Kings grab Pacific Division lead with 5-2 win
11/2/07 - by Mike Lee

Statistics don't always tell the whole story. Case in point, Friday night's 47 shot performance by the Sharks against the visiting Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. 47 shots on goal typically represents offensive dominance over your opposition, but on this night the Kings were the ones who dominated the scoreboard, pasting the Sharks 5-2. Three 2nd period goals erased an early Sharks lead, and goaltender Jean-Sebastian Aubin turned aside 45 shots to earn the victory.

While Aubin faced more shots, it was Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov who was under siege all evening. Several circus saves by Nabokov helped preserve a 1-0 lead in the 1st period, but Nabokov couldn't fend off the wolves after his teammates failed to clear puck after puck.

With all the pucks flying at Aubin, the Kings were lucky to escape the opening period only down by a single goal. Patrick Marleau converted on a battle for a loose puck behind the Kings net late in the period. After Steve Bernier an Jeremy Roenick both chipped at the puck, Marleau grabbed it behind the left post, before tucking it into the Kings goal.

San Jose would throw 21 shots at Aubin in the period, but the Sharks inability to tack on goals would swing the momentum in LA's favor.

"We're still a little fragile that we can't build off something we had in the 1st period," said Sharks head coach Ron Wilson. "It seems like we got more frustrated not scoring on our opportunities…and we lost our patience. You're trying so hard to score, and in a game like this you need to maintain your patience.

A combination of that momentum and a lack of attention to details by the Sharks would spell disaster for San Jose in the middle period.

Mike Cammalleri would strike first on a wild rush in front of the Sharks net just 2 minutes into the period. Cammallier and Alexander Frolov carried the puck in on Nabokov in a 2-on-1 that resulted in a rejection by Nabokov, but while a trio of Sharks defenders stood around watching the play in front of the net, the Kings regained control of the puck, allowing Cammalleri to punch home the first goal for Los Angeles.

Making his NHL debut after a call up from Manchester, Kings rookie Matt Moulson made his first game a memorable one by scoring with just over 5 minutes remaining in the period on a feed from Michal Handzus after Kyle McLaren and Christian Ehrhoff failed to clear the puck from their own zone. Derek Armstrong intercepted a weak clearing attempt before chipping the puck to Handzus. Moulson was breaking toward the goal as Handzus fed the rookie for the 25-foot one-timer.

The Kings would strike gold again with 1:40 left in the period, after another Sharks turnover in their own zone. Anze Kopitar grabbed a loose puck behind the Sharks net, before making a nifty backhanded pass to Dustin Brown in the slot. Brown snapped the pass past Nabokov for the two-goal lead.

Forced to open things up in the 3rd period, the Sharks paid the price by getting caught up ice on a turnover. Frolov and Ladislav Nagy raced up ice on a 2-on-1, ending with Nagy tapping home a picture-perfect pass into the Sharks net. For the 4-1 Kings lead.

Joe Thornton would score a late goal, but it was too little, too late. Thornton chipped the puck past Aubin from in close, but he passed on any celebration, given the Sharks deficit.

"There has to be a sense of urgency against teams like this," said Marleau. "For whatever reason, we had it in the 1st period, then let it slip away."

Brown would net an empty-net score with a minute remaining to cap the evening's scoring. The loss cost the Sharks two points in the standings, and the Pacific Division lead.

Game Notes:

The Sharks announced the signing of defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh, who was in the lineup on Friday night. Ozolinsh was a 1st round pick of the Sharks in 1991, and last played for the Sharks in 1995 before being traded to Colorado in exchange for Owen Nolan.

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What did you think of this game? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums
1 2 3 T
LA 0 3 2 5
SJ 1 0 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Marleau 3 (Bernier, Roenick), 15:22.
2nd period - 2, LA, Cammalleri 11 (Preissing, Frolov), 1:43. 3, LA, Moulson 1 (Handzus), 14:36. 4, LA, Brown 5 (Kopitar, Cammalleri), 18:40.
3rd period - 5, LA, Nagy 3 (Frolov, Visnovski), 6:10. 6, SJ, Thornton 5 (Michalek, Setoguchi), 18:47. 7, LA, Brown 6 (Cammalleri), 19:04, (en).
1st period - Team, LA (too many men), 13:13; Modry, LA (holding), 18:24.
2nd period - Nagy, LA (interference), 9:42; Johnson, LA (charging), 19:20.
3rd period - Ehrhoff, SJ (holding), 10:34; Frolov, LA (hooking), 12:12.
Shots Saves
LA - Aubin 47 45
SJ - Nabokov 29 25
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 10 15 5 30
SJ 21 14 12 47
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Mike Cammalleri
Jean-Sebastian Aubin
Alexander Frolov
Referees: Dennis LaRue, Brad Meier. Linesmen: Mark Pare, Tony Sericolo.

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