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 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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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
* 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.