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Win streak ends in grand fashion
Kings score first 6 goals in white washing
1/4/10 - By Mike Lee -

After winning eight straight games, the Sharks were due for a letdown on Monday night. The Los Angeles Kings would oblige the Sharks by scoring six straight goals to open the game, and cruise to a 6-2 white-washing over San Jose . Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 45 shots, but it was the Kings efficient offense that was the story of the game. Los Angeles converted 6 of 20 shots to bring the Sharks back down to earth.

San Jose focused on offense early, throwing plenty of rubber at Quick, but as a result they exposed themselves defensively. The game marked the second time this season that San Jose outshot an opponent by more than 20 shots and lost.

“It is a prime example of needing two aspects to your game, you better be there physically and mentally," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "Physically, we were fine but the mental mistakes were unacceptable. ”

A holding penalty to Kings winger Brad Richardson gave the Sharks an early power play, but San Jose couldn’t crack Quick. San Jose put six shots on net during the two-minute man-advantage, but nothing would get past the young goaltender.

“They had some great opportunities on their first power play, I mean take a look at the video," said Kings head coach Terry Murray. " It must have been outstanding. The penalty killers were good but Quick was really good in that situation. And that gave us a little bit of ‘OK it’s time to get going’. But scoring the first goal is always important.”

Evgeni Nabokov had to make a series of saves a few minutes later to keep the game deadlocked. Nabokov received some assistance from defenseman Rob Blake, who made a sliding kick-save in front of the net, after the Shars goaltender was forced to make a save that carried him out of his crease.

Los Angeles would draw first blood on a Michal Handzus goal at 15:37 of the opening period. Rob Scuderi sent a pass in from the left wing boards that bounced off the end boards. Handzus was cutting behind the Sharks net, where he grabbed the puck jammed it past Nabokov from behind the net.

Joe Thornton took a retaliatory penalty with 3:11 left in the period, putting the Kings on the power play. Defenseman Dan Boyle broke his stick on the ensuing penalty kill, but Patrick Marleau tried giving Boyle his stick by throwing it to him, which is a penalty. Just as Boyle received the stick, Kings centerman Oscar Moller fired a shot that squeezed through Nabokov’s pads for the 2-0 lead.

“I think we put ourselves in that situation with a very poor penalty that we don’t need to take 200ft away from our net,” McLellan added.

Marleau was sent to the box for this stick throwing infraction, giving the Kings another power play. Los Angeles converted 33 seconds later when Anze Kopitar deposited a Drew Doughty pass into a partially open net, after taking a pass just outside the left post.

Just like that, the Sharks were down 3-0 before the first intermission.

There would be no response in the 2nd period.

Dustin Brown appeared to score a fourth goal for the Sharks after he cut across the slot and slipped the puck past Nabokov, but Douglas Murray wiped Ryan Smyth out on the play, taking the net with him. Murray was sent to the box for interference, which simply deferred the goal for a few seconds.

Smyth would convert the Kings 3rd power play goal of the game a minute later by deflecting a Kopitar shot past Nabokov.

The Kings made it a laugher on the ensuing faceoff. Richardson beat Murray to a dump in deep in the Sharks zone, then slid a pass to Wayne Simmonds in the slot for the 5th goal of the game. Torrey Mitchell botched his defensive assignment, allowing Simmonds to take the pass and snap it past Nabokov for the easy goal.

I don't think tonight was a question of not coming out the right way," said Boyle. "I think we came out the right way. We were ready to play. I thought we had a good half period, possibly a little more, then we had a couple breakdowns and we come into this dressing room down three nothing. I still think we had a good first period overall with the exception of the penalty kill which was obviously off tonight. The 2nd period is a completely different story. We do have to take chances, but a lot of those chances weren't even 50-50, they were 30-70. Those aren't the chances to take."

Thomas Greiss replaced Nabokov to start the 3rd period, but the change held Los Angeles at bay for a mere 13 seconds. Scott Parse intercepted a Rob Blake pass in front of San Jose ’s goal and deposited his 7th goal of the season before Greiss finished scuffing his crease.

Murray would score a meaningless power play goal at 3:21 of the period on a blast from the left point, after Sean O’Donnell was sent off for tripping.

Marleau made it a 6-2 game with his 27th goal of the season. The Sharks sniper took a feed from Joe Thornton in the slot, then snapped a wrist shot that beat Quick from 18 feet.

We were playing relatively good before those two power plays," said Blake. They got those two quick goals. Their power play was good tonight."

Game Notes:

Thornton ’s assist on Marleau’s goal was his 900th career point. Thornton is now tied with Andy Bathgate for 67th on the all-time NHL assists list (624). Jody Shelley skated in his 500th carerr NHL game.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
LA 3 2 1 6
SJ 0 0 2 2
1st period - 1, LA, Handzus 10 (Scuderi, Doughty), 15:37. 2, LA, Moller 2 (Handzus, Doughty), 18:29, (pp). 3, LA, Kopitar 17 (Doughty, Stoll), 19:02, (pp).
2nd period - 4, LA, Smyth 12 (Kopitar, Doughty), 16:28, (pp). 5, LA, Simmonds 10 ( Richardson ), 16:42.
3rd period - 6, LA, Parse 7 (unassisted), 0:13. 7, SJ, Murray 3 (Ortmeyer, Nichol), 3:21, (pp). 8, SJ, Marleau 27 (Thornton, Clowe), 13:00.
Penalties
1st period - Richardson , LA (holding), 3:49; Thornton , SJ (slashing), 16:49; Marleau, SJ (throwing stick), 18:29.
2nd period - Parse, LA (high sticking), 2:14; Marleau, SJ (hooking), 7:16; Doughty, LA (hooking), 11:04; Murray, SJ (interference), 15:24.
3rd period - O’Donnell, LA (tripping), 1:24; Greene , LA (holding), 7:16; Staubitz, SJ (roughing), 14:34.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 47 45
SJ - Nabokov 16 11
SJ - Greiss 4 3
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 11 5 4 20
SJ 14 17 16 47
Power Play Conversion
LA 3 of 5
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Drew Doughty
Jonathan Quick
Anze Kopitar
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: StLaurent, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Racicot, Galloway.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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