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Santa fails to bring Sharks a win
San Jose drops 6th straight loss
12/27/2023 - By Mike Lee

After falling to the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 at SAP Center on December 19th, the Sharks got a taste of what their post Christmas game would be like. True to form, the Kings smacked the Sharks 5-1 at Crypto.com Arena in Southern California on Wednesday night as the NHL resumed play following their brief holiday break. Similar to their game last week, the Sharks were simply overmatched. San Jose opened the game's scoring then allowed the Kings to score 5 straight goals to drop their 23rd game in regulation and 26th overall loss.

Turnovers continue to be the flaming noose that snaps the Sharks neck. The disparity in puck control skills was glaring as San Jose rarely retained possession long enough to pressure the Kings.

Fabian Zetterlund was a one man wrecking crew to bag the game's first goal. The Sharks forward was defending near his own blueline when he intercepted a Kevin Fiala pass attempt to Mikey Anderson. After stripping Fiala, Zetterlund raced up ice and snapped a 30-foot shot past Kings goaltender David Rittich. The goal was Zetterlund's 10th of the season.

Blake Lizotte was called for holding at 18:23, which carried over to the 2nd period. The Sharks would not convert on the man advantage, which has contributed to the Sharks offensive struggles this season.

The Kings would counter with a pair of goals that came 13 seconds apart. First Fiala mimicked Zetterlund's goal when ht intercepted a puck at his own blueline before racing up ice on a breakaway, then beating Kaapo Kahkonen for his 7th goal of the season.

Mario Ferraro coughed up the puck behind his own net off the ensuing faceoff. Trevor Lewis picked up the puck outside the right post before sliding it past Kahkonen with a backhand chance.

It was a gut punch few seconds that seemingly seems to happen too often to San Jose this season.

Los Angeles extended their lead to 2 goals when Pierre-Luc Dubois punched home a rebound from the left side after Arthur Kaliyev bounced a long shot off Kahkonen. The shot came from the high slot, but the rebound turned 45 degrees to Dubois, who was in the perfect spot to return the puck after it kicked out to him.

Adrian Kempe sealed the deal for Los Angeles 3:36 into the 3rd period when he buried his 10th goal of the season. The Kings forward got his stick blade on a Matt Roy shot, deflecting it past Kahkonen for the 3-goal lead.

The Sharks enjoyed their 3rd power play of the night after Luke Kunin put Kaliyev into the boards forcing a response from Alex Lafarriere. The Sharks proceeded to fumble the puck in their own end for the next 2 minutes negating any chance at even a sniff at the Kings net.

Kempe added his 2nd of the game at 15:42 after skating around Jan Rutta and putting a backhand shot past Kahkonen from the left side.

Game Notes:

* Calen Addison and Alexander Barabanov returned to the lineup after dealing with health issues. Addison missed the last 3 games with a lower body injury, while Barabanov was dealing with an illness.

* Jacob MacDonald was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed lower body injury.

* Mackenzie Blackwood was suffering from an undisclosed illness, to San Jose recalled Magnus Chrona from the Barracuda to serve as Kaapo Kahkonen's backup.

* The Sharks have now lost 6 consecutive times to the Kings, dating back to last season. They will face Los Angeles 2 more tie this season to wrap up the season series.

* San Jose has secured the worst record in the NHL with Chicago beating Winnipeg in overtime on Wednesday night. The Sharks 21 standing points trails the Blackhawks by 2 points. Ottawa is worst in the East with 26 points.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 0 1
LA 0 3 2 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Zetterlund 10 (unassisted), 11:02.
2nd period - 2, LA, Fiala 7 (Spence), 2:57. 3, LA, Lewis 5 (unassisted), 3:10. 4, LA, Dubois 7 (Kaliyev, Laferriere), 12:26.
3rd period - 5, LA, Kempe 10 (Roy, Grunderstrom), 3:36. 6, LA, Kempe 11 (Anderson, Doughty), 15:42.
1st period - Lizotte, LA (holding), 18:23.
2nd period - Doughty, LA (hooking), 8:26; Granlund, SJ (holding). 8:50.
3rd period - Kunin, SJ (fighting major), 5:29; Laferriere, LA (roughing), 5:29; Laferriere, LA (fighting major), 5:29; Labanc, SJ (tripping), 8:11; Kunin, SJ (hooking), 12:07.
Shots Saves
SJ - Kahkonen 43 38
LA - Rittich 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 11 6 25
LA 6 17 20 43
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
LA 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Adrian Kempe
Trevor Lewis
Pierre-Luc Dubois
Crypto.com Arena - 18,145
Referees: #9 Dan O'Rourke, #14 Trevor Hanson. Linesmen: #62 Mitch Hunt, #53 Bevan Mills.

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