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Quick Bites: Sharks dominate possession, win in OT

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This game was not as close as the score indicates.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In their second game of the season, the San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings in overtime, by a score of 3-2. A closer look at the game shows that the scoreline flatters the Kings.

The Sharks got out to a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period. Joe Thornton threw a beautiful pass to Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the point. Vlasic ripped a shot that was tipped by Timo Meier to the back of the net:

A few minutes later, Evander Kane scored his second highlight reel goal of the season (in as many games) to put the Sharks up 2-0. It was a marvelous shot:

After this goal, the fates were against the Sharks for a chunk of the game. Before the end of the period, Anze Kopitar scored after a fortuitous bounce put the puck on his stick in a prime scoring location. Chalk this one up to bad luck, but the Kings did come out with an extra jump in their step afterwards.

At the first break, the Sharks were up 2-1, and had dominated play for the first 20 minutes. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Sharks had over 61 percent of the total shot attempts, and over 68 percent of the high danger shot attempts. Good hockey stats person, Emmanuel Perry, had the Sharks at 74 percent to win the game at this point:

The second period did not begin well for the Sharks. Less than a minute in, Tyler Toffoli scored to pull the Kings even. Martin Jones did not look great on this goal. The puck went behind the net, and Jones casually drifted across the goal. He was not in position and ready for the shot. I do not like to blame the goalie for every goal conceded, but this one was pretty clearly on Jones.

Tie game, even though the Sharks were carrying play. Cool. Cool. Cool cool cool.

The remainder of the second was slightly odd. The Sharks dominated unblocked shot attempts and scoring chances, but the Kings had a much higher share of the high danger shot attempts. This sounds like the kind of thing for which we should praise Martin Jones. And other than the tying goal, Jones looked pretty good by the eye test.

At the end of the second, the game was tied at 2-2. Manny was less excited about the Sharks chances of winning at this point:

So losing 18 percent of win probability in 20 minutes is probably good, right? Also, it should be noted that the Sharks started the third period shorthanded because Barclay Goodrow was sent to the box for elbowing in the dying seconds of the...second.

In the third period, the Sharks brought the offense. They outshot the Kings at about at 2-1 rate. The Sharks had over 68 percent of the shot attempts and better than 57 percent of the high danger shot attempts. This is a recipe for winning games. A lot of games. Usually by a significant margin. The Sharks were not able to get a third goal behind Jonathan Quick, even though they probably should have done so.

In overtime, the Sharks’ speed and skill showed through. Though both teams had their chances, the Sharks looked more dangerous and they ultimately won the game on a goal by Kevin Labanc.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings and had a higher percentage of the high-danger shot attempts, much like they had against the Ducks in their first game of the season. Honestly, it is unlucky that the Sharks and Kings were tied at the end of regulation. The Sharks were the better team on the night and it is down to misfortune that they did not win this game in regulation.

At the end of the game, the Sharks’ skaters with the worst possession numbers were on par with the Kings skaters who had the best possession numbers:

Faceoffcircle.ca Thanks Jeffler!

Look at those Fins!

The big difference between this game and the previous game against the Ducks is that the Sharks were perfect on the penalty kill. Goaltending also improved. Jones did let in the one soft goal, but he did make several nice saves. If the Sharks continue to dominate at even strength, and can get above average goaltending and penalty killing, they are going to win a lot of games.

NaturalStatTrick.com
NaturalStatTrick.com