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Sawchenko earns first NHL win
Sharks overcome early gaffs to beat Kings 4-3 in OT
3/10/2022 - By Mike Lee

With 25 games to play, the Sharks don't have the luxury of making any mistakes if they're going to pull of a miracle and make the playoffs. Games against Western Conference opponents are doubly important. San Jose kicked off an odd 4-game stretch which pits them against the Los Angeles Kings 3 times. They started with a gritty 4-3 overtime victory at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Rookie goaltender Zach Sawchenko made 33 saves to earn his first NHL win, out-dueling Jonathan Quick. After a shaky first half, Sawchenko stopped the final 13 shots he faced as San Jose chipped away at a 3-1 Kings lead.

San Jose scored the final 3 goals of the contest after trailing by a pair of goals with 9:20 to play in the middle period. It was a gutsy showing from a team that has had too few of those this season.

The Sharks took advantage of a Quinton Byfield hooking penalty early in the 1st period, when Brent Burns sent a Howitzer shot from the high slot. The blast converted to Burns 6th goal of the season.

The Kings responded in a big way. Phillip Danault scored his 17th goal of the season at 5:58, when rookie goaltender Zach Sawchenko tried to glove a puck that was destined for the right corner. Sawchenko got a piece of the puck, but it landed to the right of the goal and his stab took him out of the crease. Danault buried a Trevor Moore pass into the wide open net.

Sawchenko will have nightmares after allowing a long Andreas Athanasiou shot to slip past him just 8 seconds after Danault's goal. It was an unscreened shot that just got past him.

The Sharks continued to be in a giving mode in the middle period. After working with a second man-advantage of the period, San Jose got sloppy with the puck and it burned them. Danault stripped Jonathan Dahlen in the Sharks zone as San Jose was trying to exit their own zone. The Kings forward slid the puck to Trevor Moore, who had Sawchemko dead to rights out in front of the Sharks goal.

Nick Bonino got the goal back right before the Sean Durzi's interference penalty expired, scoring at 12:13 of the frame.

Alexander Barabanov snapped a 5 game pointless streak with his 9th goal of the season just 1:21 into the 3rd period. The Sharks forward gathered a pass from Karlsson out in front before roofing a shot past Quick.

A Blake Lizote holding penalty at 8:19 of the period setup San Jose's 5th power play of the evening and was ripe to help San Jose jump back into the lead, but an inability to hang on to the puck prevented any special teams heroics. Los angeles actually out-shot the Sharks 2-1 during the power play, including a point blank chance by Adrian Kempe that Sawchenko snuffed out with a spectacular save.

Tomas Hertl ended the game 1:13 into the overtime, when he raced up the right side, drawing Quick to take the near side away. In doing that Quick was forced to dive to deny the Sharks forward. That allowed Hertl to circle around the back of the net and slide his 23rd goal of the season into a wide open net.

Game Notes:

* Erik Karlsson returned to the lineup after missing 15 games while he recovered from surgery on his left forearm. He had 2 assists on the night.

* Jake Middleton took a shot off a skate late in the 3rd period. The defenseman hobbled off and limped down the tunnel to the locker room. Middleton was chipper in the post game interview room, although he did mention that he would be icing the ankle.

* San Jose also had Jonathan Dahlen return to the lineup after missing the last 4 games.

* Tomas Hertl snapped a 12-game stretch without scoring a goal. He finished the evening with a goal and an assist. Alexander Barabanov and Brent Burns also finished with a tally and a helper.

* San Jose placed defenseman Radim Simek on the injured reserve for an undisclosed injury.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 1 1 1 1 4
LA 2 1 0 0 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Burns 6 (Karlsson, Couture), 2:39, (pp). 2, LA, Danault 17 (Moore, Athanasiou), 5:58. 3, LA, Athanasiou 9 (Moore, Maatta), 6:06.
2nd period - 4, LA, Moore 11 (Danault), 10:40, (sh). 5, SJ, Bonino 7 (Dahlen, Middleton), 12:12, (pp).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Barabanov 9 (Karlsson, Hertl), 1:21.
Overtime - 7, SJ, Hertl 23 (Barabanov, Burns), 1:13.
1st period - Byfield, LA (hooking), 2:07; Brown, LA (tripping), 10:55; Dahlen, SJ (slashing), 18:33.
2nd period - Anderson-Dolan, LA (holding), 7:12; Durzi, LA (interference), 10:18; Megna, SJ (tripping), 13:46.
3rd period - Reedy, SJ (cross checking), 2:51; Lizote, LA (holding), 8:19; Kaliyev, LA (tripping), 13:57; Hertl, SJ (tripping), 15:00.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Sawchenko 36 33
LA - Quick 30 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 14 7 8 1 30
LA 16 10 9 0 36
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 6
LA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Trevor Moore
Phillip Danault
Tomas Hertl
Crypto.com Arena - 14,228
Referees: #48 Beau Halkidis, #24 Graham Skilliter. Linesmen: #77 Caleb Apperson, #61 James Tobias .

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