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Kings take advantage of AWOL Sharks
LA takes 3-2 overtime decision at SAP
12/22/18 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks just can't help themselves sometimes. After a terrific performance against one of the best teams in the NHL on Thursday, the Sharks laid an egg against the worst team in the NHL on Saturday afternoon. Facing in state rival, the Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks failed to handle an opponent then should have overwhelmed. Absent was any of the energy that had them running neck and neck with the Winnipeg Jets two days earlier.

The scoreboard will say that the Sharks earned a point in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings, but the sad truth is that they were out to lunch. Taking an early sabbatical for the Christmas break. There was no fight in this dog. It was a stinker through and through.

The Sharks managed to squeeze out a point by scoring a goal with 30.7 seconds in regulation when Joe Pavelski tipped a Brent Burns shot past Jonathan Quick, but then they played like a team that was either unwilling or unable to get things done in the extra period.

In fact they did everything possible to gift wrap the win for the Kings. Two breakaway chances in the overtime was more than Martin Jones could defend against. When Anze Kopitar missed his chance by sailing a shot over the crossbar, it was clear that the scouting report called for high shots on Jones. Ilya Kovalchuk would take the same approach in his chance, but going upstairs, but unlike Kopitar, Kovalchuk didn't miss.

Kovalchuk's shot was placed perfectly over Jones shoulder, ending what amounted to an afternoon of frustration for any Sharks fan watching this one. Los Angeles helped San Jose lose for the second consecutive time on home ice.

Kovalchuk staked the Kings to the early 1-0 lead, by firing a shot from the left dot while the Kings were on the power play. Timo Meier had been called for hooking, which setup the Kings goal. Kovalchuk's shot sail over Martin Jones' right shoulder for his 6th tally of the season. It was Kovalchuk's first goal since November 6th.

Oscar Fattenberg appeared to give the Kings a 2-0 lead 8 minutes into the 2nd period when his point shot beat Martin Jones, but Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Video replay showed minimal contact between Jones and Dustin Brown, but the goal was disallowed.

The Sharks went on the power play for the first time with 3 minutes left in the period, and immediately spent the 2 minutes trying to keep the Kings from scoring. The disheveled power play approach was as bad as the special teams has been this season.

Aaron Iafallo doubled the Kings lead 5:15 into the 3rd period off a blast from the top of the left circle. Iafallo exchanged the puck with Dustin Brown who was headed to the left corner. With four Shark defenders standing around their own net, Brown fed the puck back to Iafallo who had slipped into a shooting lane for the one time chance that snapped past Jones.

San Jose finally got on the board 10:18 into the 3rd when Lukas Radil deflected a Timo Meier pass. Radil was cutting through the slot from left to right when Meier sent a pass to the spot from the right wing boards. Radil got a stick blade on Meier's pass, forcing a 90 degree direction change on the puck to beat Jonathan Quick. The rookie slipped past Sean Walker, who was guarding the right post,

The Sharks got their dramatic equalizer late in regulation. Burns ripped shot from the top of the right circle, while Pavelski lurked near the right post.

Game Notes:

* Kings winger Austin Wagner left the game early in the 2nd period, after Erik Karlsson caught him with an open ice hit. The Kings forward was helped to the dressing room, appearing dazed from the hit. No penalty was called on Karlsson, who did not appear to target Wagner's head.

* With the secondary assist on Lukas Radil's goal, Erik Karlsson extended his assist streak to 8 games, which is the longest of his NHL career.

* After his monster game on Thursday night, Evander Kane was a virtual no show on Saturday afternoon. The forward didn't record a single shot in the game, which is hard to swallow considering that the Sharks paid him with a handsome contract to be more of an offensive force. Kane did record 4 hits in the game, but was never a presence on offense.

* Hits as a measure of the physical nature of this game were high for both teams. San Jose recorded 30 hits, while the Kings landed 37 in the game. San Jose rarely eclipses the 15 hit mark in most games.

* The Kings blocked 29 shots by San Jose in the contest. It was further proof that San Jose had no interest in playing in the trenches in this one. The Sharks reverted to their ineffective approach of throwing long shots on net.


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1 2 3 OT T
LA 1 0 1 1 3
SJ 0 0 2 0 2
1st period - 1, LA, Kovalchuk 6 (Iafallo, Muzzin), 4:28, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, LA, Iafallo 8 (Brown, Thompson), 5:15. 3, SJ, Radil 3 (Meier, E. Karlsson), 10:18. 4, SJ, Pavelski 23 (Burns, E. Karlsson), 19:29.
Overtime - 5, LA, Kovalchuk 7 (unassisted), 2:29.
1st period - Meier, SJ (hooking), 3:32.
2nd period - Carter, LS (tripping), 16:59.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
LA - Quick 31 29
SJ - Jones 31 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
LA 15 6 7 3 31
SJ 8 13 10 0 31
Power Play Conversion
LA 1 of 1
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Ilya Kovalchuk
Erik Karlsson
Aaron Iafallo
SAP Center - 17,562
Referees: Rooney, StPierre. Linesmen: Sericolo, Nagy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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