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Home woes continue
Kings take 5-4 overtime decision
12/9/09 - By Mike Lee -

Two things have been money for the Sharks this season. The penalty kill and their 2nd period scoring. Neither was present on Wednesday night as the Sharks dropped their 3rd straight game, losing 5-4 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. The loss was also the Sharks fourth in their last five games on home ice.

The four day break between games seemed to provide little benefit to a roster that has been struggling the last week. San Jose generated plenty of offense, but the absence of any defense would be their undoing.

Los Angeles seemed to roam free all night long, and a horrific performance by Nabokov allowed the Kings to score their first four goal on only 17 shots. The major damage would come in a three goal 2nd period for Los Angeles .

“I didn’t think we had everybody on board tonight, siad Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "Some our energy guys are warriors. They do a lot of good work along the boards our penalty killers… They didn’t have a very good night and it cost us a little bit.”

A Torrey Mitchell tripping penalty setup the game’s first goal early in the 1st period. With Mitchell in the box, Teddy Purcell walked the puck to the top of the left circle and rifled a shot through traffic for the early 1-0 Kings lead.

Joe Pavelski tied things up five minutes later after a series of nice passes in the Kings zone ended with the puck in the Los Angeles net. Ryane Clowe carried the puck up the right side before putting on the breaks along the right wing boards. Clowe sent a pass across the ice to a trailing Kent Huskins, who promptly chipped the puck over to Pavelski who was flanking him on the right. Pavelski skated in and roofed his 5th goal of the season over goaltender Erik Ersberg.

An Alexander Frolov hooking penalty at the end of the period gave the Sharks their first power play of the night, and they would cash in. The San Jose power play consumed all but three seconds of the minor penalty, before a shot hit Ersberg at the top of the crease. Unable to cover the puck, the Kings goaltender was laying on his side, leaning on his right elbow. Patrick Marleau fished the puck out of a scrum and slid it right under Ersberg’s armpit for this 20th goal of the season.

San Jose opened the 2nd period with a penalty, after Douglas Murray took a high sticking minor 54 seconds in. San Jose looked as if they would escape the infraction when Michal Handzus was sent off for goaltender interference, but the Kings would score on a deflection at 1:32, when a Jack Johnson shot deflected off Jarett Stoll.

Mitchell would take another tripping penalty at 5:04, and the Kings would capitalize once again. With the Kings cycling the puck on the right side, Anze Kopitar slipped behind the Sharks defense and redirected a Drew Doughty pass past Evgeni Nabokov for the 3-2 lead. To add insult to injury, Dan Boyle was sent off for high sticking at the conclusion of the play, putting the Kings right back on the power play.

“ In that situation, I think our penalty killers let us down, said McLellan. "We’ve been talking a lot about the power-play, but our penalty kill did some uncharacteristic things tonight, trying to stretch things, trying to go on the offense, And that’s not how we’ve done things.”

The Sharks would kill of the Boyle penalty, but they would fail to get much help from Nabokov, who gave up a soft goal to Doughty less than three minutes after Kopitar’s goal. The Kings defenseman put a 45-foot shot on goal from the high slot that Nabokov seemed to have a good look at, but the puck sailed over the Shark netminder’s right shoulder and just like that it was 4-2 Kings.

"I thought we were pretty sloppy tonight," said Boyle. "I think we made some mental mistakes defensively. Usually four goals is pretty good to win hockey games, but I thought we made some mistakes defensively. Just a little bit sloppy. We nbeeded that extra gear tonight, but we didn't get it. "

Boyle would cut the Kings lead to a single goal at 12:38 after he took a feed from Dany Heatley up the right wing and snapped a shot through Ersberg’s five-hole for his 8th goal of the season.

A tripping penalty to Huskins two minutes into the 3rd period squelched any early attempts at tying the game, and Dustin Brown almost put the game out of reach on a breakaway chance that Nabokov defended.

San Jose stayed patient and got the equalizer with 7:41 remaining in regulation on Manny Malhotra’s 7th goal of the season. Malhotra took a pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the blueline, before snapping a shot from the high slot that caught the right corner of the goal.

We've been stressing in the 3rd period to get more shots," said Malhotra. I just wanted to get it to the net and obviously it went in."

The Kings got a gift from referee Eric Furlatt, when an apparent goal by Marleau on a Sharks power play was whistled dead. Furlatt ruled that Marleau pushed the goaltender into the goal, but replays clearly showed Marleau's stick was the only thing touching Erbsberg.

"It's one of those calls," said Marleau. "It's part of the game."

San Jose just missed ending things in the first minute of overtime when a Rob Blake deflection in front of the Kings net. That would bite them as the Kings skated the puck up the ice converted on Dustin Brown’s 7th goal of the season. Brown carried the puck right up the gut, did a 360 in the slot and swept a shot that should have been stopped by Nabokov.

“We’re maturing," said Kings head coach Terry Murray. "We are starting to bring it together as a better team a better group of guys. Everybody is working hard for each other. The power play tonight showed real good composure, settled things, moved the puck around. They believe in the structure that we have been talking about. You get a result.”

Game Notes

Marleau set a franchise record for the fastest to reach 20-goals, reaching that plateau in the 32nd game of the season.


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1 2 3 OT T
LA 1 3 0 1 5
SJ 2 1 1 0 4
1st period - 1, LA, Purcell 3 (Jones, Johnson), 6:12, (pp). 2, SJ, Pavelski 5 (Huskins, Clowe), 11:22. 3, SJ, Marleau 20 (Clowe, Thornton), 19:23, (pp).
2nd period - 4, LA, Stoll (Johnson, Brown), 1:32. 5, LA, Kopitar 15 (Doughty), 5:43, (pp). 6, LA, Doughty 8 (Scuderi), 8:32. 7, SJ, Boyle 7 (Heatley, Thornton), 12:38.
3rd period - 8, SJ, Malhotra 7 (Vlasic), 12:19.
Overtime - 9, LA, Brown 7 (unassisted), 1:16.
1st period - Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 5:00; Frolov , LA (hooking), 17:26.
2nd period - Murray, SJ (high sticking), 0:54; Handzus, LA (goaltender interference), 1:15; Scuderi, LA (interference), 1:47; Mitchell, SJ (tripping), 5:04; Boyle, SJ (cross checking), 5:43; Handzus, LA (delay of game – puck over glass), 14:34; Stoll, LA (cross checking), 17:32.
3rd period - Huskins, SJ (tripping), 2:06; Handzus , LA (holding), 4:58; Brown, LA (interference), 14:14.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Ersberg 34 30
SJ - Nabokov 28 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 LA T
LA 9 8 10 1 28
SJ 13 10 11 0 34
Power Play Conversion
LA 2 of 5
SJ 1 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi
Dustin Brown
Referees: Furlatt, Kozari. Linesmen: Henderson, Pare.

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