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No revenge at Staples Center
Sharks blow three leads before falling in overtime
10/30/13 - By Mike Lee -

It's no secret that wining division games is important. Beating your biggest rival goes deeper. When that rival bounced you from the playoffs the previous season, you'd like to see some blood. San Jose had multiple chances to close out their 5-game road trip with two points by beating the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday night, but their playoff nemesis from last spring overcame three deficits and defeated the Sharks with an Anze Kopitar goal in overtime.

* Kopitar's goal came courtesy of a 4-on-3 power play that was setup with by a Justin Braun hooking penalty 53 seconds into the extra frame. Braun was forced to hook Jeff Carter, after the Kings forward slip past him on the way to the net. Kopitar rifled a shot from the point that tucked inside the left post to end the contest.

* The most disappointing part of San Jose's performance was their inability to protect a lead. The Sharks had one-goal leads on three separate occasions, but allowed the Kings to tie the score each time. San Jose would blow their last lead of the game with 7:39 remaining in regulation after committing their second too many men on the ice infraction of the game. Making that mistake twice in a game is inconceivable, and inevitably turned out to be a back breaker.

* The Sharks kicked things off on a positive note, scoring just 13 seconds into the game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic pinched on after San Jose worked the puck into the Kings zone. Logan Couture floated a pass to the slot from the right wing boards, where Vlasic one-timed it over Jonathan Quick for the quick 1-0 lead.

* Drew Doughty tied the game two minutes after Vlasic's goal. The Kings pushed the puck deep, creating a load of traffic in front of Antti Niemi before the puck kicked out to Doughty in the high slot for a slapper that slithered through traffic.

* Joe Pavelski converted on a turnover by the Kings in their own zone midway through the 1st period, scoring his 5th of the season from in tight.

* Jarrett Stoll tipped in a Slava Voynov shot early in the 2nd period, allowing the Kings to tie the game for the second time.

* A goaltender interference penalty on Kyle Clifford gave the Sharks a power play chance that they would convert on late in the 2nd period. Couture scored on the power play passing sequence which was text book. Jason Demers and Patrick Marleau tee'd up the goal with a pair of tic-tac-toe passes that ended with Couture one-timing a chance from the slot.

* Andrew Desjardins just missed a goal after his shot late in the 2nd period squeezed past Quick, but the Kings goaltender got enough of the puck to steer into the post.

* Joe Thornton saved a would be goal by LA early in the 3rd period, using his long wingspan to reach out and block a shot after Antti Niemi made a save, but left one half of the goal exposed. Dustin Brown tried to jam the loose puck home, but Thornton denied him to preserve San Jose's 3-2 lead.

* Martin Havlat made his 2013 debut, finally coming off the injured reserve after having surgery to repair a sports hernia during the off season. Havlat skates 19 shifts, logging 14:01 of ice time, while being credited with a pair of hits and a blocked shot. He recorded no shots on goal.

* Speaking of hits, the Kings laid 46 hits on San Jose skaters, choosing to take the physical approach to getting the Sharks off their game. Stuart appeared to be a target of choice for Kings forecheckers. The constant pounding added to Stuarts frustrating night. He coughed the puck up twice at the start of the overtime period to setup two quality scoring chances for the Kings.

* The Sharks also did a poor job of controlling the puck off the face off. San Jose won a paltry 37% of their draws, which contributed to the miniscule 3 shots they had on goal in the 3rd period. You can't score if you don't control the puck.

* San Jose also committed an uncharacteristically high 6 minor penalties in the game. The NHL's 3rd ranked penalty kill unit surrendered 2 power play goals on those 6 chances.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 2 1 0 0 3
LA 1 1 1 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Vlasic 3 (Couture, Kennedy), 0:13. 2, LA, Doughty 4 (Williams), 2:32. 3, SJ, Pavelski 5 (Wingels), 11:27.
2nd period - 4, LA, Stoll 2 (Voynov, Brown), 3:15. 5, SJ, Couture 2 (Marleau, Demers), 18:04, (pp).
3rd period - 6, LA, Williams 5 (Kopitar, Richards), 12:21, (pp).
Overtime - 7, LA, Kopitar 2 (Doughty, Richards), 2:32, (pp).
1st period - Irwin, SJ (interference), 7:04; Brown, SJ (fighting major), 12:11; Clifford, LA (fighting major), 12:11; Pavelski, SJ (hooking), 13:21; Williams, LA (slashing), 14:13; Mitchell, LA (interference), 18:18.
2nd period - Bench, SJ (too many men), 13:39; Clifford, LA (goaltender interference), 17:22.
3rd period - Wingels, SJ (goaltender interference), 4:36; Bench, SJ (too many men), 12:00; Carcillo, LA (boarding), 14:30.
Overtime - Braun, SJ (hooking), 0:53.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 23 19
LA - Quick 20 17
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 8 3 0 20
LA 8 3 8 4 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
LA 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Justin Williams
Logan Couture
Jarret Stoll
Referees: Kozari, L'Ecuyer. Linesmen: Cvik, Nansen.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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