The San Jose Sharks remembered what happened the last time they played the Los Angeles Kings. They took a 3-1 lead into the third period and then almost lost it all by letting the Kings control the play for the rest of the game. San Jose did not let that happen this time.
They entered the third period with a 4-0 lead and held on to win 4-1. It was a team effort with 11 players registering at least a point. Martin Jones was one of those players. Jones was solid in net. He stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced.
As of this writing, the win launches San Jose to the third spot in the Pacific Division, jumping the Vegas Golden Knights and the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver doesn’t play today. Vegas is hosting Arizona.
Looks like Tomas Hertl is back so dressing 12 forwards and 6 defensemen is much easier to do. We’ll see how Hertl looks, but at least we know there will be one set of fresh legs out there.
20:00 - Puck drop. With Hertl back, Kevin Labanc is on the third line with Joe Thornton. I haven’t been impressed so far with Labanc’s top-six work, so I’ll enjoy seeing what it looks like with him lower in the lineup.
18:40 - Matt Roy gives Hertl a little shove after the puck goes out of play, a gentle nudge really, but Hertl goes down and is a little slow getting up. I wonder how healthy he is and how quickly he rushed back.
15:39 - Martin Jones with a huge save on Tyler Toffoli. Toffoli came off the bench on a change with a ton of speed, he sneaked past everyone and had a great scoring chance.
14:51 - First power play of the game goes to the Sharks. Jeff Carter called for hooking Marcus Sorensen. Power play is currently 0-for-13. Really need a goal this time around.
14:25 - Icing on the entry won’t help.
12:51 - Power play over. No goal.
12:34 - But Patrick Marleau scores even strength! Thornton passes it cross ice to Sorensen who fakes a shot and draws Jonathan Quick way out of position. Sorensen slides it across to Marleau who has a wide open net. I mean, the entire 4x6. Easy goal for Patty and it’s 1-0 Sharks.
9:47 - Marleau called for hooking. Now LA gets to take a shot on the power play.
7:47 - Sharks have killed the penalty and then Marleau gets an opportunity to score as he comes out of the box. He didn’t score, but he did draw a penalty.
6:46 - LA couldn’t get control of the puck after the penalty, so the Sharks had plenty of time with the extra attacker and Jones pulled. They capitalized. Marc-Edouard Vlasic gets the goal. 2-0 Sharks.
1:00 - One minute mark. That is all.
0:00 - The Kings threatened late, but didn’t score. Sharks head to the locker room with a 2-0 lead. It wasn’t dominant hockey, but it was good enough and the Sharks’ capitalized on the opportunities when they got them.
19:40 - Randy Hahn offering an update on Alec Martinez, who had a lacerated wrist after Melker Karlsson’s skate came into contact with his wrist on Monday. Sounds like Martinez needed surgery at a local hospital, but could recover in two to four weeks.
18:12 - Kings putting a lot of pressure on the Sharks, they’re making a push for a goal.
17:02 - Gorgeous first NHL goal from Noah Gregor. Beats Sean Walker to the puck and then shoots it top corner over Quick’s shoulder. Gregor makes it 3-0 Sharks.
15:43 - Carter rings one off the post past Jones. Kings aren’t going away.
12:21 - Jones with a save off of Anze Kopitar to keep it 3-0 Sharks.
9:02 - Barclay Goodrow just shot one off the inside of the goal post. Wow. Almost 4-0 Sharks.
5:51 - Antti Suomela and Gregor getting more ice time since Gregor’s goal. Great to see the fourth liners earning more time.
5:18 - A shot by Erik Karlsson tipped not once, but twice. First Barclay Goodrow and then Logan Couture. It’s the second touch that beats Quick. 4-0 Sharks.
1:35 - Hertl just hit a post. The Sharks want more.
0:00 - Another late push by the Kings stopped by the buzzer. Sharks now lead 4-0. The Kings were tougher this period, but it was the Sharks that managed to score two more. One more period to hold onto this lead. If you recall, it was in the third period that the last game against the Kings ended up closer than anyone wanted.
16:53 - Evander Kane slipped and went hard into the boards, but it looks like he’s okay.
13:43 - Sharks back on the power play after Erik Karlsson had the stick slashed out of his hands. Kyle Clifford heads to the box.
11:43 - Clifford out of the box and the Kings have a few quick scoring chances.
9:38 - Randy Hahn just said the Sharks have this game in hand, so get ready for a Kings goal.
8:38 - Timo Meier dove for the puck and almost scored but Kurtis MacDermid got there first.
7:06 - MacDermid just leveled Antti Suomela. Suomela didn’t have his head up. It was just a big man crashing into a smaller man. Suomela’s talking to the trainer, but skates off on his own. He heads back to the dressing room.
MacDermid given a match penalty that’s now being reviewed. It was changed to a minor penalty for interference. Fans don’t like it, but it really wasn’t anything that warranted 5 minutes.
6:42 - Kopitar just rang one off the post. Evander Kane did a good job of pestering Kopitar just enough to force the miss.
5:06 - Power play is over and again no goal.
3:58 - Mario Ferraro came close to scoring his first NHL goal.
3:13 - Jones with a save on Austin Wagner. Still hanging on to his shutout bid.
1:49 - Clifford scores. 4-1 Sharks. Blame me for saying shutout before the game was over.
1:24 - Kings aren’t quitting. They almost added another one on that shift.
0:03 - Jones with what looks like a final save. One more faceoff.
0:00 - Sharks win 4-1.
The NHL schedule makers have not been kind to the San Jose Sharks this week. The team is in the midst of playing their sixth game in 10 days and the fatigue showed on Wednesday night when the Sharks lost to a well-rested, young, and very talented Winnipeg Jets team.
The 1 p.m. afternoon start isn’t going to help the fatigue factor, but hopefully the Los Angeles Kings will be just as tired and the Sharks will make it a match. Plus, it sounds like Head Coach Pete DeBoer is planning to go back to the more standard 12 forwards, 6 defensemen lineup with or without the return of Tomas Hertl, which should give his top guys a bit of a rest.
With the early start, we’re going to have use yesterday’s morning skate as some indication of the lines. Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News reports that Hertl was wearing an orange jersey in practice on Thursday, so I would guess he’s out.
Evander Kane - Logan Couture - Patrick Marleau
Timo Meier - Barclay Goodrow - Kevin Labanc
Marcus Sorensen - Joe Thornton - Melker Karlsson
Noah Gregor - Antti Suomela - Dylan Gambrell
Radim Simek - Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Erik Karlsson
Brenden Dillon - Mario Ferraro
Expected Scratches: Tim Heed
Injured Reserve: Dalton Prout (upper body), Tomas Hertl (ankle), Lukas Radil (undisclosed)
Per NHL.com, this is who we can expect the Kings to ice today.
Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Jeff Carter - Michael Amadio - Tyler Toffoli
Adrian Kempe - Blake Lizotte - Austin Wagner
Kyle Clifford - Nikolai Prokhorkin - Matt Luff
Ben Hutton - Drew Doughty
Sean Walker - Matt Roy
Kurtis MacDermid - Joakim Ryan
Scratched: Paul LaDue, Ilya Kovalchuk, Trevor Lewis
Injured: Derek Forbort (back), Alec Martinez (wrist laceration), Gabriel Vilardi (back)
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center in San Jose will be at 1:00 Pacific/4:00 Eastern. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports California in the Bay Area and on FS-W in the Los Angeles area. Streaming is available via NHLtv. For the radio call, tune in to 98.5 KFOX if you’re local, or the Sharks + SAP Center app if you’re a little farther away.