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Sharks 3, Kings 2 (OT): Labanc plays hero

Sharks spoil Kings’s home opener.

Oct 5, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) battle for the puck in the second period at Staples Center. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A much more complete game tonight all capped off with a great overtime goal by Kevin Labanc. Logan Couture and Erik Karlsson with the assists.

The real impressive part of tonight was the ability to roll four lines, or at least three consistently. The line of Evander Kane-Antti Suomela-Joonas Donskoi, our supposed third line, was really the most noticeable tonight. Kane had a goal and Suomela registered the first NHL point of his career with an assist on that goal.

It was a feisty game with plenty of hits. If I’ve learned one thing about the Kings from this game it’s that Austin Wagner is crazy fast. He didn’t score tonight, but if he starts finding the back of the net, he could be a Calder candidate for the Kings.

Next up for the Sharks a date with the John Tavares-less New York Islanders. The game’s on Monday at 10 a.m. so set your DVR.


If you’re not following us on Instagram, you probably should. You get really cool information like this:

Okay, stepping off my soapbox.

The lines are exactly what they were Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Rourke Chartier, Tim Heed and Radim Simek are healthy scratches.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on NSCA (also known as NBC Sports California), which means you get the pleasure of listening to Randy Hahn and either Bret Hedican or Jamie Baker. It looks like the Sharks are switching both Hedican and Baker between radio and television this season. The radio call will be on 9.85 KFOX in the Bay Area.

Check back at puck drop, where I’ll be live blogging alongside all of you in the comments.


Douglas Murray standing alongside Brodie Brazil on NSCA. Apparently his first ever pregame show.

Kevin Kurz retweeting an article on The Athletic about Drew Doughty’s “take” on the Sharks’s acquisition of Erik Karlsson. Doughty sounds a little jealous if you ask me.

Logan Couture tells Brazil the eight year deal he signed in the off season is, “...probably the last contract I’ll ever sign [in the NHL].”

Someone did the math, 1987 days since Ilya Kovalchuk last played in the NHL.

Crappy stat of the night: Three out of the four years Martin Jones started in net, he let in the first goal on the very first shot.

Joe Thornton is moving up the ranks in history. This is career game 1,495 for Jumbo. He’s now tied with Phil Housley for 20th all-time in the NHL.

Randy, Jamie and Bret missed opening night on TV, so now they get to share their excitement over the acquisition of Erik Karlsson.

Delay in the start of the game because this is the Kings’s opening night. We’re forced to watch each King skate onto the ice as they’re announced. Kovalchuk receives a warm reception.

First Period, Finally

16:07 - Erik Karlsson shot that had Jonathan Quick looking. Still 0-0.

(Side note: My Sharks App is chirping at me. Looks like Dylan Gambrell had a pair of goals for the Barracuda. Francis Perron also had a goal. 3-0 Barracuda over the Ontario Reign after the first period.)

14:55 - Joonas Donskoi with a great scoring chance off a feed from Erik Karlsson.

12:55 - Kings on the power play. Justin Braun heads to the box for tripping Kovalchuk.

10:55 - Sharks kill off the penalty. A few close ones, but Jones stood tall and the penalty killers were there to help out when it was needed.

10:18 - It’s Timo time! Beardless wonder Jumbo feeds a puck across the ice to Marc-Edouard Vlasic who immediately shoots it on net. Timo Meier is there for the tip. 1-0 Sharks.

9:36 - Sharks right back at it. The Suomela-Donskoi-Evander Kane line looking good again tonight. Jonathan Quick forced to freeze the puck again.

8:40 - A bad giveaway by the Sharks in their own zone and Jones bails them out. That’s the goalie we wanted to see on Wednesday night.

7:16 - Thornton shoots! Quick made the save, but Jumbo took a shot!

6:12 - Evander Kane makes it 2-0. Suomela and Donskoi both in on the goal. That’s Suomela’s first NHL point. Check out our third line!

4:47 - Kovalchuk with a shot on net. Jones with the save, but he’s wincing. We’ll keep an eye on that.

2:45 - Yikes! Derek Forbert with a shot from the point that somehow ricochets off of Alex Iafallo’s skate and right to Anze Kopitar. Kopitar’s got quick hands and he puts it past Jones no problem. Props to Kopitar, you can’t blame Jones there. 2-1 Sharks still lead.

0:00 - First period ends with the Sharks up 2-1.

The Sharks looked more cohesive tonight. Thornton makes an impact on the scoreboard with that helper on Meier’s goal. The Kane-Suomela-Donskoi line looks good again tonight.

Second Period

19:23 - Tyler Toffoli quickly makes it even. Kevin Labanc tries to clear the puck out of the Sharks’s zone and Logan Couture mishandles it. Toffoli jumps on it to make it 2-2. Jones could have been positioned better.

17:18 - Fourth line, especially Barclay Goodrow getting into it a little with the Kings. Maybe trying to inject a little energy back into the Sharks’s bench.

14:37 - Whistle because Doughty is down. He’s wincing. On the replay it looks like Meier and Doughty got tangled up. Maybe a slash by Meier, but if it was it wasn’t a big one. Doughty is helped off the ice and into the locker room.

12:25 - Meier taking some shots. Kings showing their anger over the Doughty scuffle. Meier takes the hits and keeps on going.

11:11 - Suomela headed to the box for tripping Tanner Pearson. Hard to dispute that one.

11:10 - Doughty’s back. He seems to be skating just fine.

9:11 - Sharks kill off the Kings’s power play.

5:42 - Quick made an amazing save on Donskoi, who put a quick bounce off the back boards on net. Donskoi looks to the sky. Still 2-2.

3:27 - Sharks finally get a power play. Pearson called for hooking Tomas Hertl.

3:22 - Wait. Nevermind. Joe Pavelski called for a weak faceoff interference. 4-on-4 hockey.

0:00 - Buzzer sounds and the teams come togther. Barclay Goodrow comes in with what looks like a clean hit on Jake Muzzin. Muzzin clutches his face, but then seems to be okay when no one comes to his aid. Quick jumps into the mix. A lot of tussling, but no punches thrown.

Sharks came out flat and paid for it. The game’s tied 2-2 going into the third period. I’m ready for a wild end. The Kings are mad. The Sharks are mad. It’s going to be a great third.

Third Period

20:00 - Goodrow given a penalty for a check to the head for the hit on Muzzin. Uh...

18:00 - Quality PK by the Sharks.

17:39 - Goodrow out of the penalty box had a few good chances to score. Unfortunately nothing doing.

14:22 - Pavelski hooked by Jeff Carter. Sharks get a PP. First unit is Hertl, Pavelski, Couture, Erik Karlsson and Burns.

12:22 - Kings kill off the power play, but I really liked the second unit with Thornton.

7:53 - Sharks head back to the box. Marcus Sorensen called for hooking Muzzin.

6:42 - Jones with a huge save on a broken play. Justin Braun with the assist on that save.

5:53 - Sharks kill off another power play. The special teams are looking much better tonight than Wednesday.

2:21 - Kings haven’t been called for much tonight, but a slash by Adrian Kempe was poorly timed. The Sharks are on the power play.

0:21 - Kings kill off the penalty. Looks like we’re headed to overtime.

Points for everyone!


4:10 - Strong forecheck by Hertl got the Sharks the puck. A brief scoring chance, but nothing comes of it.

3:33 - Toffoli shot deflects into the netting.

2:37 - Sharks execute a change and strand some tired Kings players on the ice.

2:06 - Labanc scores the game winner! Labanc exits the zone to get a better angle, passes it off to Couture, who takes it in while Labanc drives the net. Couture with a perfect pass and Labanc tips it in past Quick.

Sharks win 3-2 in overtime!