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SoCal feast continues
Sharks make do with limited offense
10/12/08 - By Mike Lee

The offensive juggernaut missed the plane to Los Angeles on Sunday, but the Sharks still managed to scratch out a 1-0 win over the host Kings at the Staples Center . Rookie left winger Lukas Kaspar scored his first career NHL goal, and goaltender Brian Boucher made it stand up with his first shutout and win of the season.

Spelling Evgeni Nabokov, who knocked off the Kings 24 hours earlier, Boucher turned aside all 21 shots he faced to help propel the Sharks to a 3-0 start.

The Kings opened the game with more intensity than they showed in San Jose on Saturday night, handcuffing the Sharks early. San Jose didn't record their first shot on goal until the 8 minute mark of the 1st period.

The Sharks best scoring chance through the first 20 minutes of play came when Joe Thornton took a pass as he cut across the slot. The centerman couldn't gain control of the puck, and missed on a backhand chance with nothing but Kings goaltender Jason Labarbera in his way.

Former Sharks defenseman Tom Preissing rang a shot off the Sharks post early in the 2nd period after Alexei Semenov was sent off for interference. The Sharks would kill Semenov's penalty, but Jody Shelly would follow him 5 minutes later with a cross checking infraction.

Kaspar would finally break the scoring drought, with his goal at 9:56 of the period. The Czech winger took a pass from Patrick Marleau at the blueline then sent a shot on goal from the top of the left circle that slipped past Labarbera, ringing it off the inside of the left post. Kaspar didn't realize he had scored until a Kings defenseman smashed his stick across one of the posts. He raised his arms to celebrate the career milestone, not even sure the goal was his.

Kaspar's celebration was short lived, after he took a hooking penalty less than a minute after the goal. What happened next, could only be described as bizarre. The Kings failed to convert on the ensuing power play, but only after a would be Kings goal was waved off for goaltender interference. Los Angeles forward Anze Kopitar smashed his stick on the glass as he exited the ice in disgust, but he ended up cracking the glass, earning himself a 10-minute misconduct penalty for the transgression.

Things went from bad to worse for Los Angeles after Kings forward Matt Moulson put the puck past Sharks netminder Brian Boucher, but video replay showed that Moulson kicked the puck into the goal with his right skate.

San Jose dodged another bullet midway through the 3rd period, when Alexander Frolov missed on a short-handed chance after Rob Blake failed to keep the puck in the Kings zone.

With the offense sputtering, the Sharks couldn't add any breathing room to their lead.

Clinging to a one-goal lead Christian Ehrhoff tripped up Kopitar with just under 6 minutes to play to give the Kings a chance to knot things up, but San Jose's penalty kill unit denied Los Angeles any quality scoring chance.

Kings head coach Terry Murray pulled Labarbera with a minute to play, but Los Angeles had difficulties getting the puck into the Sharks zone. Boucher would do little more than watch as San Jose 's skaters kept pressing with the puck until the clock expired.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
LA 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Kaspar 1 (Marleau), 9:56.
3rd period - None.
1st period - Blake, SJ (interference), 2:51; Greene, LA (hooking), 5:28; Doughty, LA (hooking), 17:00.
2nd period - Semenov, SJ (interference), 1:32; Shelly, SJ (cross checking), 6:27; Kaspar, SJ (hooking), 10:41; Kpoitar, LA (10 minute misconduct), 12:21.
3rd period - Gauthier, LA (hooking), 7:57; Ehrhoff, SJ (tripping), 14:16.
Shots Saves
SJ - Boucher 21 21
LA - Labarbera 19 18
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 8 3 19
LA 6 12 3 21
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
LA 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Brian Boucher
Lukas Kaspar
Jason Labarbera
Referees: Hasenfratz, Kimmerly. Linesmen: Racicot, Sharrers.

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