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Royal dissapointment
Kings continue supremacy on SJ ice
11/28/07 - by Mike Lee

A mini-shakeup in the Sharks lineup failed to generate the results Ron Wilson wanted on Wednesday night. With Kyle McLaren and Steve Bernier watching from the press box, San Jose lost to the Los Angeles Kings for the 3rd time this season on home ice, dropping a 3-2 decision in the shootout. Lacking energy and cohesion, the Sharks stumbled through regulation and the overtime period, then rolled out a shootout effort that proved impotent once again.

"I want to see more players upset with what our record is and as individuals what their numbers are," said Wilson. "A lot f them are unacceptable and you should be angry about it."

Joe Thornton gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 4 minutes into the contest on a shot from the right dot. Milan Michalek setup the goal by creating a screen in front of Kings goaltender Jason Labarbera. Thornton took a pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic, before cranking the shot that slipped inside the right post.

Skating without Alexander Frolov and Mike Cammalleri, the Kings slowed the tempo of the game int eh 2nd period, intending to lull the Sharks to sleep. That approach proved effective, taking the Sharks out of their game and letting their guard down.

The power play hasn't done the Sharks any favors this season, but they would turn the man advantage into a nightmare on a sequence that had defenseman Douglas Murray falling asleep twice on one play. After the puck chipped past him on the point, Murray allowed Dustin Brown to get past him at the Sharks blueline. Brown sped up the ice on a breakaway, but Matt Carle disrupted Brown's shot with a hook in front of Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Nabokov made the stop, but the puck sat parked between his skates, while Murray stopped playing, assuming that the play had ended. Anze Kopitar skated into the Sharks crease, grabbed the puck and deposited into the wide open net as Nabokov flailed at the short-handed tally. The only thing Murray did effectively on the play was break his stick in frustration on the ice after the goal was scored.

Murray and Carle got caught napping again with two minutes remaining in the period, when Brad Stuart feathered a pass diagonally through the slot to Patrick O'Sullivan on the left wing for a goal. The defensive tandem were drawn to the front of the net, freeing up O'Sullivan to roam free. Jeremy Roenick didn't help matters, by failing to get back on defense.

The Sharks knotted the game up at 2-2 at 3:41 of the 3rd period after Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was sent off for interference. Craig Rivet scored his 1st goal of the season on a put back after Sandis Ozolinsh fired a shot off Labarbera from the point.

Rivet and Carle would back the Sharks back into a hole midway through the period when they would draw separate minors 37 seconds apart. The league's 3rd best penalty kill would shut down the Kings, allowing 3 shots on goal during the lengthy 5-on-3 chance.

"It was a good job by the PKers there and a good job by the power play later to get the game even, but it's still not good enough for the guys in here," said Sharks forward Mike Grier. "I think everyone should be pretty dissapointed with the way things are only get one point out of two games with those guys is unacceptable. There's pretty much nothing to be happy about right now."

Torrey Mitchell and John Zeiler would trade tripping penalties later in the period, but neither team would cash in. Rivet came closest, ripping a shot of the left post.

Both teams traded chances in the overtime period. Torrey Mitchell came closest to scoring with a shake-n-bake move that left Johnson tripping over his own feet. Mitchell blew by the Kings defenseman on the right wing, before cutting back across the slot to put the shot into Labarbera's pads.

In the shootout, Jeremy Roenick led off with a snap shot that caught Labarbera in the right pad, but found the back of the net. O'Sullivan with a similar shot that found the back of the net. Michalek missed on a backhand attempt that fell meekly in the crease. Kopitar snapped a shot top shelf that put the Kings one up in the shootout. Joe Pavelski went upstairs himself to tie things up. Brown won it with a shot to the 5-hole, leaving San Jose 1-4 in the shootout this season.

The loss was the 7th in 10 home dates for the Sharks this season.

"Definitely frustrating," said Rivet. "We had some good focus tonight before the game. We wanted to come out strong. Wanted to move that puck quick, skate. First 10, 15 minutes of the 1st period I thought we did all those things. It just seems like in today's game right now, small mistakes that you make always seems to come back and bite you in the butt."

Game Notes:

The 17,071 in attendance broke a streak of 36 consecutive sellouts at HP Pavilion. McLaren's benching was the first in his 300 game tenure with the Sharks. Frolov missed the game to tend to his ailing father. Cammalleri was nursing a sore groin.

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1 2 3 OT SO T
LA 0 2 0 0 1 3
SJ 1 0 1 0 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Thornton 9 (Vlasic), 3:58.
2nd period - 2, LA, Kopitar 10 (Brown), 10:39, (sh). 3, LA, O'Sullivan 5 (Stuart, Preissing), 17:54.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Rivet 1 (Ozolinsh, Marleau), 3:41, (pp).
Overtime - None
Shootout - SJ: Roenick (goal), Michalek (miss), Pavelski (goal. LA: O'Sullivan (goal), Kopitar (goal), Brown (goal).
1st period - Rivet, SJ (hooking), 17:33.
2nd period - Murray, SJ (holding), 6:22; Zyler, LA (hooking), 9:35; Setoguchi, SJ (hooking), 12:52.
3rd period - Stuart, LA (hooking), 1:14; Johnson, LA (interference), 3:09; Rivet, SJ (roughing), 9:05; Carle, SJ (hooking), 9:42; Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 11:53; Zeiler, LA (tripping), 15:37.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Labarbera 36 34
SJ - Nabokov 31 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
LA 8 11 9 3 31
SJ 10 8 16 2 36
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 6
SJ 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick O'Sullivan
Jason Labarbera
Dustin Brown
Referees: Don Koharski, Dan O'Rourke. Linesmen: Darren Gibbs, MArk Wheler.

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