The San Jose Sharks avenged their overtime loss from two weeks ago with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings tonight, maintaining a perfect record in 2019.
Before puck drop, there were two noteworthy lineup changes — the Kings went with Jack Campbell in net rather, than Jonathan Quick, while Radim Simek took warmups with the Sharks, getting the green light to start after suffering a concussion last week in Calgary.
Once the puck dropped, the Sharks were in control of the puck in the first period, possessing a Corsi for percent of 58.62 during 5-on-5 play. Towards the end of the period, Erik Karlsson made some history, setting a franchise record with points in 13 consecutive appearances with his secondary assist on the opening goal by Joonas Donskoi.
In the second period, the Kings generated six scoring chances, and one of those opportunities got by Martin Jones, with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar connecting for the tying goal. Midway through the second, Karlsson received his second point of the game via a Tomas Hertl backhand goal that gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
The third period saw plenty of scoring chances on both ends, but only could get through. Joe Thornton’s empty-net goal iced the game for the Sharks and gave Karlsson his third assist of the game, but more importantly, a victory, as the Calgary Flames defeated the Chicago Blackhawks earlier tonight, continuing to tighten the Pacific Division race.
When we last saw the San Jose Sharks, they had done what no other team has done since late November, and that’s hand the Tampa Bay Lightning a loss in regulation. Now, they’ll look to carry that momentum into tonight’s game, as the rival Los Angeles Kings make their way to SAP Center.
The new year is treating the Sharks well so far, with two strong wins against the Lightning and Colorado Avalanche. A win tonight would make it three in a row — much needed, as the Sharks try to to stay on pace with the Vegas Golden Knights and Calgary Flames, who are both three points ahead of the Sharks in the Pacific Division race.
On the other end, the Kings' season hasn’t gone the way they’d hoped, currently sitting near the bottom of the National Hockey League standings, where they've hovered for newrly all of the season. Nonetheless, they’re not an opponent that the Sharks should take lightly. Despite what their record is, in their 3-2 overtime win a few weeks ago, the Kings that they can be a thorn on the Sharks' side.
Injuries continue to affect the Sharks' defensive pairings, marking the second game they will go without the services of Justin Braun, Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. With half their pairings still out, Head Coach Peter DeBoer will likely lean heavily on Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson again, as both defenders played roughly half the game in the win against the Lightning.
Meanwhile, their forward group remains the same and, as usual, Martin Jones will take the reins in net against his former team.
#SJSharks projected lines for our favorite day #BeatLA pic.twitter.com/bWZT1whBfZ— Fear the Fin (@fearthefin) January 7, 2019
For the Kings, here’s how their lines looked during practice this afternoon:
No changes to lines/pairings:— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) January 7, 2019
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center will be at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET with television coverage on NBCSN and the radio call on 98.5 KFOX. Check back then for updates and live reactions.
Hey everyone, Eddie here and I’ll be with you all for tonight’s liveblog against the Los Angeles Kings. Let’s see if the Sharks can carry their big win against the Tampa Bay Lightning and make it three wins in a row tonight.
20:00: Let’s drop the puck and get this game going!
20:00: So no Jonathan Quick, as it’s Jack Campbell in net for LA.
18:11: Joe Thornton with a backhand scoring chance.
17:35: Carl Hagelin takes a slap shot, but Martin Jones gobbles up the puck.
14:08: Joonas Donskoi with a opportunity to set up Tomas Hertl around the net, but cannot connect.
11:40: Kyle Clifford gets behind the defense for a scoring chance, but Jones is there to deny him.
9:43: Power play. Jake Muzzin heads to the box for tripping, so the Sharks will get the first odd-man opportunity of the night .
8:13: Karlsson with a scoring chance, but Campbell uses the pad to deny him.
7:43: Kings kill the Muzzin penalty.
3:45: Loos puck around the Kings net, but the Sharks are unable to turn it into a scoring chance.
2:17: GOAL! The Don Father opens up the scoring for the Sharks. 1-0, Sharks.
:29: Couture with some moves, but he’s unable to finish.
16:59: Dion Phaneuf and Barclay Goodrow exchanging words. It's getting chippy.
16:18: Goal. Dustin Brown connects with Anze Kopitar, who scores and we have tied game.
14:31: Derek Forbort fires a shot from the blue line, stopped by Jones.
13:45: Evander Kane rushes down the wing, his shot goes straight into Campbell’s glove.
12:37: Brent Burns unloads a shot from the blue line.
10:52: GOAL! Hertl on the backhand and it’s 2-1, Sharks.
10:07: Timo Meier with a scoring chance that Campbell fights off.
4:10: Meier comes close to generating another scoring chance for the Sharks.
2:42: Power Play. Hagelin heads to the box for cross-checking and the Sharks head to the man-advantage.
1:14: Meier with a scoring chance on the power play.
:42: Kings are able to kill the Hagelin penalty.
18:39: Muzzin’s shot is deflected, but Jones is able to clear it from the crease.
17:01: Kane with a quick shot, but it’s an easy save for Campbell.
15:38: Lukas Radil with a redirect of Burns' shot, but it’s not able to get by Campbell.
11:44: Set play from the Kings allows for Muzzin to fire a shot from the blue line, Jones makes the save.
9:16: With two assists already, Karlsson walks in and fires a shot, denied by Campbell.
6:48: Karlsson with another scoring chance, but his shot goes wide of the net.
3:04: Muzzin with a hit on Couture, who is shaken up but looks to be okay.
2:20: Power Play. Sharks head to the man-advantage after the Kings are called for too many men.
1:22: Kings with a scoring chance, but the puck bounces off Jeff Carter’s stick.
1:00: Kings pull their Campbell, empty net.
:20: GOAL! Joe Thornton gets the empty netter and ices the game.
Final: Sharks 3, Kings 1