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Burns burns Sharks in tough loss
Kings steal 2 points after SJ collapse
1/24/16 - By Mike Lee -

Call it one of those ones that got away. Holding a 3-2 lead with seconds left in the game, the Sharks decided that Brent Burns was suddenly capable of playing defense. They were wrong. Another defensive lapse, this one with 12.7 seconds left in regulation, cost the Sharks dearly against the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night at SAP Center. Burns lost track of newly acquired Kings forward Vincent Lecavalier in front of the Sharks net, allowing the former Philadelphia Flyer to poke home the tying goal in the waning moments of regulation. The Kings would go on to win the game on a Marion Gaborik goal in overtime to steal 2 points from the Sharks.

Burns continuous lapses in defensive judgment or skill are often countered with his offensive upside, but he had no answers for his team in this one. They had a chance to send their division rival packing with no points. Instead, Burns gift wrapped a win for the Kings.

Lecavalier punched home a puck that rattled between Martin Jones' pads after Tanner Pearson fired the puck to the front of the net from the right corner. San Jose had kept the puck out of their own zone for almost two minutes prior to the fateful scoring sequence, but they let the Kings gain the zone when it mattered most. They let Pearson get the puck to the net when it mattered most. They let Lecavalier roam unattended in front of their net when it mattered most.

Burns disappeared when it mattered most.

Lecavalier's was the spark that Los Angeles needed to win it, when Gaborik slipped past Joonas Donskoi in overtime, rifling a shot past Jones on a play that you could just see coming. The Sharks had a pair off 3-on-1 rushes in the overtime that were passing showcases that never ended with actual attempts toward the net. San Jose did what San Jose does best in the extra period. They passed it around on odd-man rushes, instead of throwing it at backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth.

It was a frustrating ending for a game that the Sharks should have run away with had they buried their chances. They didn't and lost.

Joe Thornton was whistled for a questionable tripping penalty 1:25 into the 2nd period. The Sharks killed off the penalty, and then turned the tables on the Kings as Thornton chased down a lead pass deep into the Los Angeles zone and kicking the puck out to the front of the net. Joe Pavelski gathered the pass, then pulled it back before sliding a shot past Jhonas Enroth for the 1-0 lead.

Both teams fought to keep the puck away from their respective nets, the remainder of the period, buckling down on defense. San Jose out-shot the Kings in the period 13-11, but carried the slim 1-0 lead into the 2nd intermission.

Mike Brown took a precarious roughing penalty 5:25 into the 3rd period. What Brown was even doing on the ice is something only Peter DeBoer can answer, but to let him take liberties while the Sharks are clinging to a 1-0 lead is a head-scratcher.

Drew Doughty made the Sharks pay for Brown's indiscretion, by rifling a shot past Martin Jones a minute later. San Jose's misses on three power play chances were magnified by Doughty's goal, which allowed the Kings to tie the game, giving them new life.

Logan Couture put the Sharks back on top with 8:18 left in regulation, one-timing a Joonas Donskoi feed past Enroth for this 3rd tally of the season. Couture was sitting in the lower half of the left circle when he ripped a shot across the face of the goal, catching twine just inside the right post.

This is the part in the story where the quality hockey team locked down a win. Except it didn't end that way.

Because Brent Burns disappeared.


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1 2 3 OT T
LA 0 0 2 1 3
SJ 1 0 1 0 2
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 24 (Hertl, Thornton), 3:39.
3rd period - 2, LA, Doughty 9 (Muzzin, Kopitar), 6:30, (pp). 3, SJ, Couture 3 (Donskoi, Karlsson), 11:42. 4, LA, Lecavalier 4 (Pearson, Brown), 19:47.
Overtime - 5, LA, Gaborik 9 (Toffoli), 4:06.
1st period - Dillon, SJ (high sticking), 11:52; McNabb, LA (interference), 17:14.
2nd period - Thornton, SJ (tripping), 1:25; Doughty, LA (slashing), 9:04; McNabb, LA (tripping), 16:47.
3rd period - Brown, SJ (roughing), 5:25; Doughty, LA (hooking), 14:06; Donskoi, SJ (interference), 15:17.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Enroth 32 30
LA - empty net
SJ - Jones 32 29
SJ - empty net
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
LA 10 11 10 1 32
SJ 5 13 12 2 32
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 4
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Marion Gaborik
Drew Doughty
Logan Couture
Referees: Sutherland, Rehman. Linesmen: Knorr, McElman.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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