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Sharks show teeth in rivalry win
Goals and grit lead to 4-2 win over LA
1/21/15 - By Mike Lee -

There's no doubt that the Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings have a doozy of a rivalry going. Wednesday night's nationally televised game between the two teams from SAP Center in San Jose was a great showcase of that rivalry as the two teams battled down to the final horn in the 3rd installment of the season series. San Jose came out on top of the 4-2 affair, but not after the Kings cut the game to a single goal deficit with under 30 seconds to play.

San Jose scored the necessary number of goals in this one, but it was the push back that showed that the Sharks might have some fight in them after all. Brent Burns took matters in his own hands in the 3rd period and used Kings centerman Trevor Levis as a sparring dummy. Joe Thornton tried laying out Marion Gaborik with a hit later in the period, that sent another message.

Thornton took a boarding penalty for that hit, resulting in a Kings power play goal that cut the Sharks lead to 3-2, but it was a message. The Sharks shook off the goal and added a strange empty-netter, but more importantly, they showed some teeth against the team that still has demons roaming the halls of SAP Center.

"Much better," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "The win, the score, everything we're happy with. But what's most satisfying is the competitiveness that we showed up with. We shouldn't need to talk about it. But now that it was there through 20 players, it should go recognized. We have to capture that, prepare to bring it to the rink, after the break every night. Because it's shaping up to be a very tight conference."

San Jose scored first in this one. Logan Couture took a Matt Irwin feed up the left wing boards, racing past Alec Martinez before lifting a shot past Jonathan Quick for his 17th goal of the season midway through the 1st period.

"Beating the Kings, the building has a different feel to it," added Couture after the game. "Fans bring different excitement. The start of that game, Metallica was doing the starting lineups, that was wicked. One of the best experiences I've had in hockey. That was so cool."

The Sharks had numerous opportunities to add to their lead, but they couldn't generate the extra push. Matt Nieto had a pair of chances from in tight, but he shot the puck wide in both cases. Tomas Hertl missed on a chance from the left side that Quick snared from his belly.

It was only a matter of time before that caught up to the Sharks. Kings captain Dustin Brown tied the game with a wrap-around chance midway through the 2nd period after Couture broke his stick trying to defend him. Brown picked up a feed from Gaborik, then raced behind the Sharks net and slipping the puck around the left post.

Drew Doughty changed the outcome of the game later in the period by taking a hooking penalty with 4:20 left in the frame. San Jose capitalized when a shot by Couture from the high slot deflected off Patrick Marleau for the go-ahead goal. Doughty wasn't happy when the penalty was called, but he was livid after Marleau scored, giving referee Mike Leggo an earful as he exited the box.

Doughty was sent off again 6:41 into the 3rd period, setting up another power play for the Sharks. Once again, San Jose cashed in. Joe Pavelski was Johnny on the spot after Thornton whiffed on a rebound just outside the right post. Pavelski swooped in after Marleau bounced a shot off Quick, pumping home his 24th tally of the season to push the Sharks lead to a pair of goals.

"We have to do a better job in certain areas," said Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr. "Tonight, the penalty kill, you can't afford to give up two power-play goals against and really expect to win too many games, especially on the road. It's a tough hole to dig yourselves out of when that happens."

Thornton's boarding penalty gave the Kings a power play late in the period, which led to a Los Angeles goal. Anze Kopitar sent a shot on net from the high slot, allowing Jeff Carter to tip the feed past Antti Niemi, cutting the lead to 3-2.

The Kings had all of 23 seconds to try and score the equalizer, but a turnover led to a rare declared goal after Couture was hooked on an empty-net breakaway. By rule, the Sharks were awarded the goal, even though Couture never got a shot off.

Game Notes:

* Members of the rock band Metallica were in attendance for Metallica Night at SAP Center.

* Pavelski now holds the distinction of scoring the Sharks 5,000 goal in franchise history.

* San Jose tallied 42 hits on the night, tying the season record for hits in a game set on 12/9/14 against Edmonton.

* Antti Niemi recorded his second assist of the season. His other assist came on a Tyler Kennedy goal on 11/13/2014 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


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1 2 3 T
LA 0 1 1 2
SJ 1 1 2 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 17 (Irwin, Niemi), 10:44.
2nd period - 2, LA, Brown 8 (Gaborik, Kopitar), 11:39. 3, SJ, Marleau 9 (Couture, Thornton), 16:39, (pp).
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 24 (Marleau, Vlasic), 8:27, (pp). 5, LA, Carter 12 (Kopitar, Shore), 19:37, (pp). 6, SJ, Couture 18 (unassisted), 19:59, (en).
1st period - Carter, LA (hooking), 6:11; Clifford, LA (fighting major), 9:48; Dillon, SJ (fighting major), 9:48; Scott, SJ (roughing), 16:05.
2nd period - Dillon, SJ (tripping), 6:45; Doughty, LA (hooking), 15:40.
3rd period - Sheppard, SJ (slashing), 5:45; Doughty, LA (high sticking), 6:41; Lewis, LA (roughing), 15:18; Burns, SJ (roughing), 15:18; Dillon, SJ (hooking), 16:38; Thornton, SJ (boarding), 19:28.
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 24 21
LA - empty net 1 0
SJ - Niemi 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 6 6 16 28
SJ 10 9 5 24
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 5
SJ 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Logan Couture
Patrick Marleau
Melker Karlsson
Referees: Leggo, Walsh. Linesmen: Galloway, Heyer.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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