The Los Angeles Kings were trending up heading into last night’s game, winning six of their last ten games. But when it comes to San Jose, it really doesn’t matter what LA’s record is, they always come to play.
The Sharks came out of the gate looking to pick up where they left off in Saturday’s big win over the Tampa Bay Lighting, but the Kings pushed right back. If you look at the Corsi for the first period, you’ll see the Kings clearly maintained possession for most of the 20 minutes and that’s even with the Sharks getting a two minute power play midway through the period.
Even though LA had the puck, the Sharks limited the scoring chances for the Kings. San Jose ended up out-shooting LA 12-7 in the first. One of those 12 shots, one ended up in the back of the net.
Donskoi cleans up the mess for his 11th goal of the season pic.twitter.com/c6dQO819Ih— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) January 8, 2019
At the 17:41 mark of the first, Evander Kane put a shot on net that Kings’ goalie Jack Campbell easily stopped. Campbell couldn’t control the rebound however and it went right to Joonas Donskoi, who put it over Campbell’s left pad for the goal. 1-0 Sharks.
Even more, Erik Karlsson received a secondary assist on the goal to extend his point streak to 13 games, setting a new franchise record. Remember that name, you’ll hear more of it later.
The period ended with the Sharks up 1-0.
In the second period, it was more of the same. A back and forth game that saw the Kings take five shots on goal before the Sharks could even register one. It was the second shot of the period that tied the game. Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar did a little give and go in the Sharks’ zone and Kopitar finished things off to tie things up at one apiece.
The Kings continued to push for the lead, but the Sharks had a cure: a little Hertl power.
Erik Karlsson started it out with an amazing pass through the neutral zone that found the tape of Tomas Hertl. Hertl skated into the Kings’ zone and put in past Campbell to make it 2-1. Martin Jones with the secondary assist on the goal.
The Sharks’ Twitter account has a new favorite Martin Jones gif that came in handy here:
Sliding onto the scoresheet with that secondary assist like pic.twitter.com/eGqFBo6n8B— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 8, 2019
Sorry, it just makes me laugh.
The Hertl goal was like a shot to the arm for the Sharks, who started turning the possession in their favor. San Jose continued to push and finally forced the Kings into a mistake. Joakim Ryan was a little stunned by a high hit by Carl Hagelin. It was more of a punch to the head than a hit.
It led to the second power play of the game. San Jose had a few good looks, but Campbell stood tall and kept it 2-1.
That’s the way the second period would end.
To the third period, where the Kings came out looking to tie things up; they had a pair of good scoring chances, but could not beat Jones.
After that, the Sharks tilted the ice back in their favor. If you look at the possession chart for the game, you can see that while LA had spurts where they controlled the game, but in the last two periods, it was really the Sharks driving the play tonight.
While both teams had scoring chances, no one managed to find the back of the net. Then, with just over two minutes remaining in the period, the Kings were called for a too many men penalty. San Jose could not hold the zone for the entire two minutes and LA pulled to goalie to try and tie the game. Ultimately, the move favored the Sharks.
There was a lot of scrambling in front of the San Jose net before Erik Karlsson managed to gather up a loose puck and feed it to Joe Thornton in the neutral zone. Thornton easily put it into the empty net and put the game out of reach.
Sharks win 3-1.
For EK65, that was his 22nd point in his last 13 games, but it’s not really considered a streak because according to NBC Sports, missing those two games because of the suspension nullifies “streak” status. Either way, 22 points in 13 straight appearances is a new franchise record, which means whether or not Karlsson stays in San Jose next season, he’ll have made his mark on the record books.
Other news of note:
Dion Phaneuf was really getting into it early in the game tonight and every time I watch him I can’t help thinking about what a (insert favorite expletive here) he is. Listen, there’s playing with an edge and then there’s playing like a jerk. Take a guess what I think Phaneuf is.
Phaneuf started things off with a hit on Timo Meier in the first period. He “followed through” on the play after the whistle and just managed to knee a prone Meier in the head. It was not hard enough to warrant a penalty, but definitely dirty. Later in the period, he put a hard hit on Donskoi (at least that one was legit). Kane took an opportunity on the same shift to knock Phaneuf on his butt. Instead of standing up for himself, Phaneuf let teammate Adrian Kempe do his dirty work and get into a shoving match with Kane. No penalties, no fights, but really Phaneuf, at least have the stones to finish what you start. Don’t let your teammates do it for you.
My highlight of the game: Brent Burns showing off his soccer skills. He kicked the puck to make sure the Sharks kept the zone during the power play in the first period.