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Kings sweep Sharks
Season series goes to LA 3-0
1/11/2023 - By Mike Lee

Consecutive Shark wins these days are a rarity. San Jose had a chance to extend their win streak to 2-games after dropping the Arizona Coyotes 24 hours earlier, but they couldn't seal the deal in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Playing on the back end of back-to-backs, San Jose lost focus for 53 seconds in the 3rd period and the Kings pounced, scoring a pair goals to keep them in the hunt with Vegas for the top spot in the West.

The Kings ran the Sharks ragged in the opening period, but San Jose withstood a flurry of shots in the opening frame but stayed in the game.

Adrian Kempe kept his hot hand going by scoring the game's first goal at 5:59 in. The Kings worked the puck around the back of the net when Quinton Byfield tried forcing things from the right point. Kempe stood parked on the doorstep for the easy deposit while the Sharks were late to react defensively.

Los Angeles would out-shoot San Jose 22-8 in the period, but James Reimer stood on his head in the period. The Kings weren't just bombing from long range during the barrage. They had plenty of quality chances in tight.

The Kings would kick themselves after not cashing in on all their 1st period chances after the Sharks converted on a Los Angeles miscue 1:20 into the 2nd period. After dumping the puck into the Kings zone, the Sharks were gifted a chance by goaltender Pheonix Copley who took a nonchalant approach to playing the puck. He would mishandle it, allowing Nick Bonino to chip it on net, splitting Copley's pads for is 5th goal of the season.

Byfield pushed the Kings right back on top at 6:58 with a deflection off a Mikey Anderson shot. Byfield was parked at the top of the crease when he got a waist-high stick blade on Anderson's shot, knocking it down and between Reimer's pads for his 1st tally of the season.

The Sharks drew their 2nd power play of the game at 9:21 of the 3rd period when Sean Walker was called for hooking Michael Eyssimont. The Sharks scored on the ensuing power play, marking their first special teams goal in 2023. They had gone the month 0-for-16. Timo Meier roofed a shot from the slot for his 24th goal of the season.

The euphoria of that tying goal would be short lived as the Kings responded 2:29 later when Gabriel Vilardi sent a puck on net that clipped a Sharks defender out front, fooling Reimer.

Drew Doughty converted as the trailer on a 3-on-2, snapping a shot to the upper right corner for his 3rd goal of the season.

Tomas Hertl cut the Kings lead to 4-3 with his 14th goal of the season at 17:54. Meier carried the puck around the back of the net then found Alexander Barabanov cutting down the slot for the one time chance that found the back of the net after Hertl apparently tipped it.

San Jose was forced to keep their only meaningful line on the ice for what seemed like an eternity, but they couldn't get the equalizer.

finished the night with 33 saves but he would suffer his 13th regulation loss of the season.

James Reimer finished with 33 saves, but he would still suffer his 13th regulation loss of the season.

Game Notes:

* The game marked the end of the season series between the Kings and Sharks. Los Angeles wrapped up the series win back on December 17th when thy beat San Jose 3-2 in a shootout. They beat the Sharks 5-2 at SAP Center back on November 25th.

* Scott Harrington skated 7 shifts in the 1st period, then the defenseman did not return to the bench to start the middle period. There was no update on his condition.

* Matt Benning, Logan Couture, Kevin Labanc and Matt Nieto were a combined -8 on the night.

* Nico Sturm won 13 of 20 faceoffs for a 65% conversion rate. The sharks won 53% of draws in the game.

* When asked before the game about what he wanted, Erik Karlsson responded to the question on the national broadcast by saying, "I want to win." It was a very pointed comment by the defenseman.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 2 3
LA 1 1 2 4
1st period - 1, LA, Kempe 18 (Byfield, Kopitar), 5:59.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Bonino 5 (unassisted), 1:20. 3, LA, 1 (Anderson), 6:58.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Meier 24 (Couture, Karlsson), 10:11, (pp). 5, LA, Vilardi 17 (Durzi, Roy), 12:40. 6, LA, Doughty 3 (Danault, Iafallo), 13:33. 7, SJ, Hertl 14 (Barabanov, Meier), 17:54.
1st period - Vlasic, SJ (holding), 6:22.
2nd period - Hertl, SJ (holding), 11:27; Doughty, LA (holding), 12:26.
3rd period - Walker, LA (hooking), 9:21.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 37 33
LA - Copley 29 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 13 8 29
LA 22 8 7 37
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
LA 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Quinton Byfield
Drew Doughty
Adrian Kempe
Crypto.com Arena - 16,717
Referees: #6 Francis Charron, #4 Wes McCauley. Linesmen: #64 Brandon Gawryletz, #77 Caleb Apperson.

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