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Give thanks for beating LA
Sharks go to the bonus rounds for hard fought win
11/27/13 - By Mike Lee -

Like a turkey waiting for the axe to fall, Wednesday night's Sharks - Kings game was wrought with anticipation. The two teams combined for 80 shots on net and each scored a fluke goal before the contest was eventually decided in the shootout. Just to add to the agony, the shootout went eight rounds before the Sharks emerged with the 3-2 victory.

* The shootout hasn't been exactly kind to San Jose this season. The Sharks entered Wednesday night's contest with a 1-4 record in the shootout. In their 5 shootouts this season, San Jose had scored no more than one goal in any of them. They scored four times in the shootout on Wednesday and they needed every one of them.

* Let's cut to the chase and review how the shootout evolved: Anze Kopitar put a backhand shot top shelf after a usually reliable Logan Couture missed on his try. Joe Pavelski put a nasty move on Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens to tie things up. Martin Havlat broke his stick in the 3rd round, but Mike Richards also missed. Rookie Tomas Hertl bounced a backhand shot off the right post to put the Sharks on top to start the sudden death rounds but Antti Niemi couldn't handle a Justin Williams shot that deflected off his glove and into the net. Dan Boyle's nasty move backhand gave the Sharks a chance to win again, but Dustin Brown squeezed a shot through Niemi's 5-hole. Joe Thornton went to the same backhand move as Pavelski and Boyle, managing to sneak a shot in between Scrivens' left skate and the right post for the game winner. Niemi stuffed Tyler Toffoli to end things.

* The game got off to a precarious start for the Sharks when Jeff Carter deposited a shot past Antti Niemi just 18 seconds into the game. Mike Richards fired a shot off the end boards before Dwight King tapped the puck out to the front of the goal to Carter for the punch in. Thornton, Hertl and Brad Stuart all watched Carter skate to the goal mouth for a painful lesson in spectating with a stick in your hand.

* Pavelski tied the game at 1-1 2:43 into the 2nd period, chasing down a rebound that nobody seemed to want and lifting a shot past Scrivens from the top of the crease. Tyler Kennedy had sent a shot in on net from the left wing boards that Jake Muzzin blcked with a skate, but the puck kicked out into the slot, sitting between four skaters before Pavelski swooped in and took matters into his own hands. * The assist on Pavelski's goal was the 100th of Kennedy's career.

* Brad Richards picked Justin Braun's pocket as the Sharks defender tried to exit his own zone. The larceny turned into a 2-on-0 chance for the Kings but Niemi somehow managed to deny shut the door after Richards tried to go to the backhand from in tight rather than work with his off wing.

* Jarret Stoll hit Andrew Desjardins with a shot from behind at center ice, but neither of the four on ice officials saw the infraction. Desjardins went after Daniel Carcillo out of frustration, sending both to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. Referee Mike Leggo didn't miss Dan Boyle's high stick on Justin Williams, which drew a double minor for cutting the Kings forward. The next four minutes may have been the most crucial part of the game for San Jose. They withstood 7 quality shots by LA and had to defend their own end without clearing the puck for a good two minutes.

* Thornton wasn't much into actually shooting the puck during the game, so it figures that he scored his 3rd goal of the season late in the 2nd period by simply pursuing a loose puck. While applying pressure with a forecheck behind the Kings net, Thornton got a stick on the puck as it slipped away from Willie Mitchell. After thinking twice about playing the puck, Scrivens tried retreating to his crease, but in doing so he danced it into his own goal by kicking it twice without realizing it was at his feet.

* With his goal, Joe Thornton moved into 50th all-time in scoring with 1,143 points.

* The Kings got a break 6:23 into the 3rd period when Drew Doughty threw a puck to the front of the net and bagged a goal on a bad deflection. The puck hit Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan in the skate, redirecting just inside the right post for Doughty's 5th goal of the season.

* The Kings committed three penalties in the 3rd period to even up the power play chances, but the Sharks didn't help matters by going offside three times as they tried to gain the Kings zone. They generated a meager two shots during the 6-minutes of man advantage time.

* Thornton capped the evening with the quote of the night. When asked how he would prepare for the Sharks next challenge, he snorted, "I'm having me a turkey dinner!"

* The game marked Sharks head coach Todd McLellan's 400th game behind the Sharks bench.

* Pavelski and Thornton were 21 of 28 on draws. Tomas Hertl on the other hand was 0-for-4 on faceoffs.

* San Jose out-hit the Kings 30 to 20. They also blocked 22 shots to LA's 16.

Key Quotes:

* Head Coach Todd McLellan: "You watch what's going on in front of you, you have an idea of what your shooter can do. We were beating him with dekes so we tried to find guys that could do that. Obviously Joe Thornton is not a big shooter but he can move his hands pretty well and he ends up coming up with the win."

* Joe Thornton: "I was begging coach to look my way [laughs]. It was nice to be involved in one. Down in their building it's a one-goal game, tonight another one-goal game. Both teams compete hard against each other and you knew it was going to come down to overtime or the shootout and it did. We were just happy with the two points."

* Joe Pavelski: "It's always like this against them. They're a good team, they're simple, they play hard, they've got some big bodies. We know it's going to be low-scoring the way they've been playing. It was good to get a lead and play. Guys battled and found a way to win one in the shootout finally."

* Anze Kopitar: "I thought it was pretty intense. We got off to a good start, and then I thought we had a good second period. We were down after the second and battled back and went pretty deep in the shootout, but this time around they took it."

* Ben Scrivens: "Obviously we came out on the wrong end of it. I need to try and find a way to make some more saves in the shootout, but it's some skill guys so it's a learning experience."



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
LA 1 0 1 0 0 2
SJ 0 2 0 0 1 3
1st period - 1, LA, Carter 6 (King, Richards), 0:18.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 9 (Kennedy, Havlat), 2:43. 3, SJ, Thornton 3 (Hertl), 16:54.
3rd period - 4, LA, Doughty 5 (Scrivens), 6:23.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Couture (miss), Pavelski (goal), Havlat (miss), Hertl (goal), Boyle (goal), Burns (miss), Marleau (miss), Thornton (goal). LA: Kopitar (goal), Carter (miss), Richards (miss), Williams (goal), Brown (goal), Vey (miss), Stoll (miss), Toffoli (miss).
Penalties
1st period - Desjardins, SJ (boarding), 7:54.
2nd period - Carcillo, LA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:27; Desjardins, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 4:27; Boyle, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 6:35.
3rd period - Toffoli, LA (hooking), 8:00; Clifford, LA (slashing), 10:43; Kopitar, LA (high sticking), 12:42; Couture, SJ (high sticking), 16:29.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
LA - Scrivens 40 38
SJ - Niemi 40 38
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
LA 8 19 9 4 40
SJ 18 7 13 2 40
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 4
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Niemi
Ben Scrivens
Joe Pavelski
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Kimmerly, Leggo. Linesmen: Cvik, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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