Not only did the San Jose Sharks defeat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Thursday night, but they also ended the Kings’ eight-game road win streak and showed their SoCal rivals that they will be ready to play in a possible playoff matchup.
Brent Burns and Logan Couture provided the scoring for the Sharks in a close game that featured no shortage of physical play and penalty minutes. The Sharks, however, were far more physical with 52 hits to the Kings’ 32.
While the Kings controlled play for much of the first period and drew first blood on a goal by Jordan Nolan less than four minutes in, the Sharks responded in the second period. On the power play at the 7:15 mark, Brent Burns tied the game on a one-timer set up by Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton. Then, five minutes later, Logan Couture gave the Sharks the lead on a wraparound goal into a wide open net after Kings’ goalie Martin Jones overcommitted to one side of the net and could not get back over in time for Couture’s quick hands.
The second and third periods were pretty evenly matched, but the Kings were unable to get an equalizer. Antti Niemi was solid in goal for the Sharks, stopping 26 of 27 shots. San Jose also blanked the Kings on the penalty kill, as Los Angeles was 0-for-5 on the man-advantage.
Tale of the Tape
- Shots on goal: 21
- Power play: 1-for-2
- Hits: 52
- Giveaways: 12
- Takeaways: 17
- Faceoffs won: 30
- Shots on goal: 27
- Power play: 0-for-5
- Hits: 32
- Giveaways: 14
- Takeaways: 7
- Faceoffs won: 32
Good to Know
If this is a precursor of the playoff series to come, it will surely be a tight best-of-seven:
10 of the last 13 regular season meetings between the Kings and Sharks have been decided by 1 goal (5 of 7 games in 2013 playoffs were also)
— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) April 4, 2014
What’s on Tap
The Sharks welcome the Predators to SAP Center on Saturday night.