The San Jose Sharks (10-1-2, 22 points) fell to the Los Angeles Kings (9-5, 18 points) by the final score of 4-3 in overtime at the Staples Center. As expected it was a very entertaining game between these two bitter rivals and it took extra time to decide a winner.
The Sharks held the lead and gave it up three times, and in the end it was the Kings who won the game in overtime on a four-on-three power play goal by defenseman Drew Doughty.San Jose was held to just 20 shots on goal and did not hit double-digits on the shot clock in any period.
This was by far the most physical game San Jose has played this season and were outhit 46-21. That physicality showed as well and you could definitely see the Sharks acting uncomfortably when they had the puck. Also, the Kings were great on the forecheck all night and gave San Jose fits all night on the breakout which contributed to 17 giveaways for the Sharks.
The Kings were also guilty of sloppy play, however, and had 20 giveaways of their own. And, as we saw with the Boston game, the Sharks were unable to close with the lead in the third period.
It ended up being a rough night for the Sharks penalty kill although it did not start that way. At one point they were 4/4, but the Kings scored on their final two chances which both came in at key moments.
The first, which tied the game at three with just under eight minutes left in regulation, was created after San Jose’s penalty kill failed to clear the puck out of the zone after a faceoff win. Eventually Anze Kopitar fed a nice pass to the front of the net to Justin WIlliams who picked the top corner on Antti Niemi.
The other power play goal was the one that won it for the Kings in overtime by Doughty who scored low on Niemi with a few bodies in front of the net.
The Sharks also had some success on the power play scoring once on four attempts. They almost scored a second one to take the lead with about six minutes left in regulation when Logan Couture rang one off the post that beat Jonathan Quick, but that was as close as San Jose would get to the win.
Their other goals came from Joe Pavelski on a well executed two-on-one pass by Tommy Wingels and Marc-Edouard Vlasic who scored just 13 seconds into the game. That got the Sharks off to the great start they wanted, but in the end did not get the result they wanted.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Drew Doughty (OT goal, 1 assist)
2. Logan Couture (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Justin Williams (1goal, 1 assist)