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Statement game sends message
Sharks play 60 minutes of solid hockey vs Kings
11/15/10 - By Mike Lee -

The first showdown with the in-state rival Los Angeles Kings went all San Jose's way on Monday night. The Sharks put a 6 spot on the Pacific Division leaders, breaking a 6-game winning streak by the Kings at HP Pavilion. The Sharks finished their home stand with a 4-0-1 to get themselves back into the division race, but the 6-3 uppercut by the Sharks may have the best performance by the Sharks this season. The 6 goals was the most scoring Los Angeles has allowed this season.

San Jose skated stride for stride with a quick Kings roster that tried to push the best record in the Western Conference past the reigning division champions. In the end it was a great display of hockey skill on both sides of the puck. The Sharks turned in a 60 minute performance against a quality opponent and were rewarded with a bushel of goals.

The Kings got on the board first courtesy of an errant clearing attempt by Patrick Marleau that kicked off Kings forward Scott Parse's left skate and into the net. The Kings had pushed the puck to the front of the Sharks net after Dustin Brown skated past Kent Huskins on the left wing. Brown fired the puck at Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who made the save, but allowed the rebound to trickle out in front of the net. Marleau tried clearing it, but hit Parse for the opening score.

The Sharks would answer 92 seconds later when Ryane Clowe poked home a one-time chance from just outside the right post. Joe Pavelski corralled the puck behind the net and slid a pass to Clowe who was cutting down the slot. Clowe's shot beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier stick side for his 4th goal of the season.

Torrey Mitchell would give the Sharks the lead 75 seconds later, by sweeping home a rebound after Jamie McGinn threw a shot at Bernier from the right wing boards. Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi were swarming the crease, which allowed them to pounce on the rebound.

San Jose would score via the rebound again midway through the 3rd period. Scott Nichol grabbed a rebound in front of the Kings net and did a 180 degree spin before firing home his 2nd goal of the season. Derek Joslin put the initial shot on Bernier that bounced fortuitously to Nichol.

Things got a little nutty later in the period after Ryan Smyth scored his 5th of the season while skating 4-on-4. Problem is the referees didn't see the puck cross the goal line. Play would continue and Mitchell put a shot past Bernier for what would have been the Sharks 4th goal of the game, but everything was nullified from the point at which Smyth scored his goal. A quick video review confirmed Smyth's goal, so Mitchell's tally was simply an exhibition event for the sellout crowd.

The Kings stayed out of the penalty box for the first 42 minutes of the game, but a Matt Greene interference infraction gave the Sharks a power play early in the 3rd period. Patrick Marleau would use the opportunity to score his 100th career goal on the man-advantage. Dan Boyle sent a rocket off the end boards that kicked back out wide of the left post. Dany Heatley got a piece of the deflection, redirecting it into the slot where Marleau pounced on it for the easy deposit into a wide open net.

The goal also snapped 22 consecutive kills by the Kings special teams unit.

The Sharks got a little complacent with the lead and would pay for it. Jarret Stoll whipped a 15-foot shot from the left side past Niittymaki after the Sharks decided to chase the puck rather than clamp down on the zone coverage.

For every punch the Kings threw at the Sharks, San Jose countered. Heatley would deposit his 7th of the season 43 seconds after Stoll's tally to push the lead back to two goals. The Sharks sniper pumped home a 20-footer from the slot, beating Bernier with another stick-side shot.

Niittymaki would make the save of the game on a Kings wrap-around attempt with 12 minutes left in regulation. The Sharks goaltender had to make a kick save to his left, pinning his skate against the right post to preserve the Sharks lead.

Stoll would be sent off for tripping at 16:01 and the Sharks would strike quickly. Pavelski would score 7 seconds into the power play by sending a backhand shot from the low slot past Bernier for the 6-3 lead.

Game Notes:

The Sharks honored former netminder Arturs Irbe before the game by having him drop the puck in the honorary faceoff. Irbe will be inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, the first Shark to do so.

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1 2 3 T
LA 1 1 1 3
SJ 2 1 3 6
1st period - 1, LA, Parse 1 (Brown, Kopitar), 16:33. 2, SJ, Clowe 4 (Pavelski, Couture), 18:05. 3, SJ, Mitchell 3 (McGinn, Setoguchi), 19:20.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Nichol 2 (Joslin, Mayers), 10:35. 5, LA, Smyth 5 (Doughty), 13:35.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Marleau (Heatley, Boyle), 2:39, (pp). 7, LA, Stoll 6 (Scuderi, Williams), 7:06. 8, SJ, Heatley 7 (Huskins, Marleau), 7:49. 8, SJ, Pavelski 5 (Marleau), 16:08, (pp).
1st period - Josliln, SJ (hooking), 7:09.
2nd period - Richardson, LA (slashing), 12:33; Boyle, SJ (tripping), 12:33; McGinn, SJ (high sticking), 15:49.
3rd period - Greene, LA (interference), 2:30; Stoll, LA (tripping), 16:01; Simmonds, LA (slashing), 16:14.
Shots Saves
LA - Bernier 34 28
SJ - Niittymaki 35 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
LA 13 8 14 35
SJ 10 13 11 34
Power Play Conversion
LA 0 of 2
SJ 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Patrick Marleau
Joe Pavelski
Jason Demers
Referees: Joannette, Auger. Linesmen: Cameron, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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