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Flat Sharks still beat LA
SJ generates enough scoring to take 3-1 win over Kings
1/7/18 - By Mike Lee -

The big question after their stunning win over the Tamp Bay Lighting on Saturday, was which Sharks team would show up on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings. The feared letdown made an appearance, but the Kings are so bad that the Sharks were able to generate enough scoring to hold off Los Angeles for a 3-1 win.

That flat was evident from the get go. San Jose struggled to keep the puck on their tape, or complete passes that established any flow. San Jose would out-shoot the Kings 12-7 in the opening period, but they would not record a shot in the first 6 minutes of the 2nd period.

Joonas Donskoi staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead with 2:17 remaining in the opening period, punching home a rebound from the doorstep. Erik Karlsson tried to dump the puck diagonally across the Kings zone, but when Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown tried to block the puck with his skates, the puck deflected right to Evander Kane on the left side. Kane tried a quick shot that Kings goaltender Jack Campbell stopped, but the puck bounced right to Donskoi for the put back shot.

Anze Kopitar tied the game 3:43 into the 2nd period after he gained inside position on Karlsson and pushed the puck past Martin Jones. Kopitar left a drop pass for Brown as the two crossed paths at the Sharks blueline. Brown lured defenseman Brendan Dillon over to the right side, allowing Kopitar to slip past Karlsson for the tip in chance.

In typical Sharks-Kings style, the two teams mixed it up on several occasions throughout the game, but Dion Phaneuf and Barclay Goodrow emphasized their dislike for each other with an entertaining scrum.

Tomas Hertl helped San Jose regain the lead at the 9:09 mark when he carried the puck up the right side and lifting a backhand shot over Campbell's left shoulder for his 15th goal of the season. Karlsson was credited with the primary assist after he hit Hertl with a lead pass up ice. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones was credited with the secondary assist on the play.

The Kings made things significantly harder for themselves late in the game when they took a penalty for too many men with 2:20 to play. They would pull Carpenter with 40 seconds to play, just to match the Sharks skater count on the ice.

The Sharks gift wrapped a chance for the Kings to tie the game when Tyler Toffolil intercepted the puck in the Sharks zone. He had the chance to skate uncontested to the Sharks net, but he immediately tried passing the puck to Brendan Liepsic in the slot, but the pass was slightly behind its mark.

Joe Thornton ended all doubts when he threw a 90 foot shot into the open net for his 7th goal of the season. Karlsson earned his third primary assist of the night on the goal.

Game Notes:

* Erik Karlsson became the 6th defenseman in NHL history to register at least one assist in 13 consecutive games. Paul Coffey holds the NHL Record for defensemen with an assist in 17 straight games.

* The announced attendance was 15,447 which equates to more than two thousand empty seats. While not surprising for a Monday night, which was also competing with the NCAA Football National Championship Game in Santa Clara, having so many empty seats against their biggest rival is evidence that the Sharks have a problem.

* Evander Kane led all skaters with 6 shots on net.

* The Kings were surprisingly tempered when it came to doling out hits. Los Angeles only recorded 16 shots on goal.

* The Sharks have a quick turnaround, as they will play the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night on home ice.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
LA 0 1 0 1
SJ 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Donskoi 11 (Kane, E. Karlsson), 17:43.
2nd period - 2, LA, Kopitar 11 (Brown), 3:42. 3, SJ, Hertl 15 (E. Karlsson, Jones), 9:09.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Thornton 7 (E. Karlsson), 19:39, (pp)(en).
Penalties
1st period - Muzzin, LA (tripping), 10:17.
2nd period - Hagelin, LA (roughing), 17:18.
3rd period - Bench, LA (too many men), 17:40.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
LA - Campbell 28 26
LA - empty net 1 0
SJ - Jones 23 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 7 10 6 23
SJ 12 10 7 29
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 0
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Erik Karlsson
Tomas Hertl
Joonas Donskoi
Attendance
SAP Center - 15,447
Officials
Referees: Watson, Rehman. Linesmen: Devorski, Cameron.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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