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Sharks wrap up trip with stunner in LA
Pavelski scores a pair of 3rd period PP goals to pace Sharks
12/22/15 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks lengthy 5-game road trip came to an end in Southern California on Tuesday night, with one of those "how did that happen" performances that left heading home with a 5-3 win over the host Los Angeles Kings. Facing a 3-2 deficit heading into the 3rd period, the Sharks scored 3 goals to knock off the rival Kings in a stunning turnaround.

The comeback was a stunner given the start of the game, which had the Sharks crawling back from an early 2-goal deficit, motivated largely by the Sharks absenteeism in the 1st period.

The Kings used all of 100 seconds to get on the board, when Tyler Toffoli picked up a loose puck off a faceoff and whipped it past Martin Jones from between the circles. Jeff Carter won the faceoff in the left dot, before Toffoli found the puck on his stick as he floated through the circle.

San Jose missed the bus to the start of the game, letting Los Angelese out-shoot them 21-6 through the first 20 minutes. The Kings seemed to shoot at will at Jones who had to turn in a game's worth of saves in the opening frame. Given the Sharks lukewarm play in their current 5-gam road trip, showing up unready to play seems par for the course for these Sharks of late.

Trevor Lewis doubled up the Kings lead less than 3 minutes after Toffoli's goal by establishing position in front of the right post, before deflecting a Dustin Brown shot past Jones. Marc-Edouard Vlasic's soft coverage allowed Lewis to get his stick on the shot, deflecting it to the ice, where it bounced past the Sharks netminder.

If not for a Joe Thornton deflection at 12:12 of the period, the Sharks would have been looking at a two-goal deficit heading into the 1st intermission. Thornton got his stick on a Brenden Dillon shot form the left point, forcing the puck to skip past Jonathan Quick for his 6th goal of the season.

The Sharks must have received an earful from head coach Peter DeBoer at the break, because they came out with a new found passion in the 2nd period. San Jose out-shot the Kings 9-5 in the period, but were stymied by a pair of penalties.

The gaping hole in Brent Burns defensive game was exploited late in the period, when Pearson stripped the defenseman at the Kings blueline. The Kings forward skated up ice 2-on-1 with the lumbering Burns trailing to try and stay between them. Pearson slipped the puck to Toffoli on his right, for an easy deposit to make it a 3-1 game. Burns could have bodied Toffoli off the puck, but elected to try and swipe at the puck from behind Toffoli. All he ended up doing was flop to the ice as Toffoli bagged his 14th goal of the season.

The defenseman partially atoned for his gaff 57 seconds later by pumping a shot from the right point past Quick. Joonas Donskoi started the scoring sequence by fighting off a defender along the end boards before feeding the puck out to Burns on the point. The shot was aided by traffic in front of Quick, who never seemed to pick up the shot.

The Pavelski show went to work in the 3rd period, aided by a pair of Kings penalties. Former Shark Christian Ehrhoff was sent off for cross checking Chris Tierney across the face, which put the Sharks on their 3rd power play of the game. Burns sent a low shot toward the right post, but Pavelski redirected the shot from 18 feet out, sending the puck through Quick's pads for the 3-3 tie.

Sharks fan club president Milan Lucic slashed Burns 30 seconds later to put the Sharks right back on the power play. Joe Thornton grabbed a puck that was cycled around the end boards and found Pavelski lurking on the right side of the Kings net. The Sharks captain gathered up a Thornton feed then roofed a shot from 3 feet out to stun the sellout Staples Center crowd.

It was a shocking about face from the lethargic opening period that had the Sharks pinned to the wall. The Thornton goal may have been the catalyst for the entire game. Instead of a white-washing in that first 20 minutes, his goal cut the Kings lead in half and allowed them to salvage something from nothing.

Burns tacked on an empty net goal to put the game out of reach, collecting a loose puck in the right corner of the Sharks zone before snapping a rink long shot into eh exposed Kings net.

Game Notes:

* Joel Ward missed his second consecutive gave due to the upper body injury he sustained in Ottawa.

* Mike Brown was limited to 5 minutes of ice time, which was largely influenced by a lazy holding penalty in the 2nd period, where he grabbed Jordan Nolan's jersey rather than skate to cover the Kings forward.

* The Sharks have quietly crawled up the league rankings on both the power play and penalty kill. San Jose has scored 5 goals on the man advantage in their last 3 games, climbing to the 9th ranked power play in the league. The penalty kill now ranks 7th. San Jose ranked 25th or worse in both categories a month ago.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 3 5
LA 2 1 0 3
1st period - 1, LA, Toffoli 13 (Pearson, Carter), 1:40. 2, LA, Lewis 3 (Brown, Martinez), 4:32. 3, SJ, Thornton 6 (Pavelski, Dillon), 12:12.
2nd period - 4, LA, Toffoli 14 (Pearson), 17:48. 5, SJ, Burns 13 (Thornton, Donskoi), 18:45.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Pavelski 17 (Burns), 6:06, (pp). 7, SJ, Pavelski 18 (Thornton), 7:38, (pp). 8, SJ, Burns 14 (unassisted), 18:50, (en).
1st period - Wingels, SJ (roughing), 12:55; Wingels, SJ (roughing), 12:55; Lewis, LA (roughing), 12:55.
2nd period - McNabb, LA (hooking), 1:44; Bench, LA (too many men), 5:22; Martin, SJ (holding the stick), 8:39; Brown, SJ (holding), 14:19.
3rd period - Ehrhoff, LA (high sticking), 6:02; Lucic, LA (slashing), 6:41.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 36 33
LA - Quick 22 18
LA - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 6 9 8 23
LA 21 5 10 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 4
LA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Joe Thornton
Tyler Toffoli
Referees: Charron, Leggo. Linesmen: Cameron, Heyer.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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