Game 33; 20-11-2
LOS ANGELES — Similar to their start on opening night, the Los Angeles Kings got off to a quick one, taking an early 2-0 lead. In the end, though, it didn’t prove to be enough as the silver-and-black fell to the San Jose Sharks by a 5-3 count.
Just 1:40 into the contest, That 70’s Line got things started as Tyler Toffoli sniped his 13th past a fooled Martin Jones off the faceoff. Tanner Pearson and Jeff Carter had the assists. Then, just under three minutes later, the Kings added to their lead as captain Dustin Brown shot the puck on net from an angle where it was tipped by Trevor Lewis and in. The goal was Lewis’s third with Alec Martinez picking up the second assist. The Sharks, though, got one back.
At the 12:12 mark of the first, Joe Thornton cashed in on his sixth to put the Sharks on the board. That was all the scoring until just over two minutes to go in the second. At that point, San Jose’s Brent Burns coughed up the puck to the duo of Pearson and Toffoli. The former fed the latter in front where he tipped his 14th — and second of the night — past Jones to regain the home side’s two-goal lead. Again, though, the Sharks pulled to within a goal as just 57 seconds later, Burns made up for his miscue, shooting a floater on goal to score. The goal was the blueliner’s 13th and enough to give the Sharks momentum entering the third.
In the third, the Kings got into penalty trouble and it cost them.
With Christian Ehrhoff in the box for high-sticking, Joe Pavelski scored his 17th to tie the game. The San Jose captain then struck again 92 seconds later as, with Milan Lucic in the box, roofed his second of the game to give San Jose their first lead of the night — one they would not relinquish.
Brent Burns then iced his second of the night into an empty net to ice the game for the Sharks, improving their league-best road record to 13-6-2.
Suddenly, the red-hot Kings have cooled off. They have now lost three of their last four outings, falling twice in as many games. This was their last home game of 2015 but a lack of discipline prevented the Kings from entering the Christmas break on a high.
Burns and Pavelski each had two goals with the latter compiling a three-point night. Joe Thornton also had a three-point game, adding two assists to his first-period tally.
The Sharks outshot the Kings 36-23 and Jonathan Quick, while he didn’t get the win, saved the game from being lopsided.
The Sharks now cut Los Angeles’s division lead to six points with the victory. The Kings are back to work on the 26th when they visit Glendale to take on another division rival in the Arizona Coyotes.