Tonight’s game was the first time the Sharks met their rivals the Los Angeles Kings this season. Going in, things looked a little grim after the Kings shut out the Philadelphia Flyers, the team the Sharks just lost to this past week, but, as always, the mission was to Beat LA. Unfortunately, the Sharks just couldn’t get it together, losing 4-1.
Dustin Brown struck with the first goal at 5:08 in the first period, but the Sharks hit back quickly with a Mikkel Boedker deflection goal at 6:14. The Sharks’ power play got to work once and didn’t convert, but their penalty kill saw success twice, and, in fact, killed every penalty all night - a vast improvement from the Flyers game earlier in the week. The Sharks’ power play was unfortunately unsuccessful the rest of the game, which was not a vast improvement.
Despite the fact that the Sharks only got six shots on goal throughout the first period compared to the Kings’ 17, the period remained tied until almost the very end when Anze Kopitar scored a goal with eight seconds left.
Heading into the second period, it didn’t seem so impossible that the Sharks could tie the game again. The offense had some work to do in order to generate shots, but if they could tie it once, they could tie it again, yes?
The good news for period two is that the Kings had fewer shots—just 15—and the Sharks had significantly more at 12. The bad news is that Anze Kopitar scored once more at 12:07 of second period. The worse news is that Melker Karlsson scored an own goal just a few minutes later, which was credited to Nick Shore. Aaron Dell then took over in net for Martin Jones.
The Sharks tried to tie it up in the third, but only squeaked in seven shots all period. They took Dell off the ice with 2:56 left in the third, and the Kings didn’t score again, but the Sharks didn’t score, either.
While the Sharks improved their penalty kill, their struggling power play is an area to improve on, judging by these past two games. They could also stand to take fewer penalties, as they had four more penalty minutes than the Kings. There’s improvement to be made, and their next game is against the Buffalo Sabres, who haven’t won yet either, and are classically bad. Fingers crossed the Sharks can pull it off against them.