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Kings rough up Sharks
Hertl injures knee on illegal hit
12/19/13 - By Mike Lee -

The San Jose Sharks ventured into the lion's den on Thursday night dressed up in a lamb's costume. Having lost in their 8 prior visits to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Sharks needed to attack with a killer instinct to stand a chance against the red-hot Kings. No such luck. The Kings simply maimed their opposition and scored at will as the Sharks licked their wounds in a 4-1 one-sided affair.

* Of biggest concern for the Sharks is the status of their rookie phenom, Tomas Hertl, who was knocked out of the game with a knee-on-knee hit by Kings captain Dustin Brown with a minute left in the opening period. Hertl limped off the ice and headed directly to the dressing room with the assistance of the Sharks training staff. He did not return.

* Hertl's status was still up in the air after the game. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was tight lipped in his post-game wake.

* Brown was ejected with a game misconduct and assessed a 5 minute major penalty.

* True to form, the Sharks botched the extended power play, failing to put a puck past rookie goaltender Martin Jones. That failure really set the tone for the rest of the game. San Jose was ill prepared mentally to match up with the Kings. They essentially caved like a deck of cards.

* Alec Martinez knuckled a shot at 5:29 of the 2nd period past Antii Niemi while stationed at the left point. Martinez's shot hit Joe Pavelski in the shin guard, altering the trajectory enough to fool Niemi for the game's opening score.

* Niemi simply failed on the next goal, a Tyler Toffoli wrist shot from the outside of the right circle midway through the period. Toffoli received a 125-foot shot from Slava Voynov before sending his long shot that caught the upper left corner.

* San Jose continued to play piñata, when Pavelski was sent into the boards with a hit from behind later in the period. No penalty was called and the Sharks failed to react to the hit, which essentially allowed the Kings to take liberties with the Sharks.

* With 20 minutes left to play, the Sharks started the 3rd period with a 2-goal deficit they had a decision to make. Fight back or pack up. They chose the latter.

* Jeff Carter ended any thoughts of a comeback when he tipped a Dwight King pass past Niemi just 36 seconds into the final period. The Sharks defense looked like the keystone cops on the play, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic slid to the ice to try and cutoff King, but ended up taking himself out of the play and Justin Braun was simply chasing his own tail on the play.

* The Kings weren't satisfied with their blood-letting, so Martin Havlat fell victim to a hit by Jake Muzzin that sent the Sharks winger flying face first into the glass. Muzzin was sent off for boarding, but the Shark's power play fizzled again.

* King scored a goal of his own 6 minutes later, pumping a shot home from the slot after the Sharks piled on top of their own goaltender at the top of the crease.

* Patrick Marleau celebrated his 1200th NHL game by scoring a meaningless goal with 2:10 left in the game.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
LA 0 2 2 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, LA, Martinez 3 (Toffoli), 5:26. 2, LA, Toffoli 9 (Voynov, Jones), 11:15.
3rd period - 3, LA, Carter 10 (King, Regehr), 0:36. 4, LA, King 10 (Carter, Regehr), 6:16. 5, SJ, Marleau 16 (Havlat), 17:50.
Penalties
1st period - Doughty, LA (holding), 3:25; Burns, SJ (interference), 18:59; Brown, LA (kneeing major), 18:59; Brown, LA (game misconduct), 18:59.
2nd period - Thornton, SJ (holding), 9:03.
3rd period - Muzzin, LA (boarding), 2:51; Richards, LA (high sticking), 6:37.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 32 28
LA - Jones 32 31
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 10 12 32
LA 13 10 9 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
LA 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Martin Jones
Alec Martinez
Robin Regehr
Attendence
18,118
Officials
Referees: Charron, Sutherland. Linesmen: Henderson, Murchison.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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