Game 48; 30-15-3
SAN JOSE — They were looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak since the opening week of the season and in the end, the Los Angeles Kings narrowly avoided that by edging the San Jose Sharks in overtime. The win evens the season series between the two clubs as the silver-and-black finish the weekend on a high note.
In addition, the Kings also had to make due without Milan Lucic who was suspended for this game earlier in the day. Lucic had been ejected from Saturday’s game in Arizona after sucker-punching Kevin Connauton. But the Kings started out great as they controlled the tempo in the opening period. Unfortunately, they were unable to score as Martin Jones turned away all 10 shots he faced early on.
It was the home side, though, who opened the scoring.
At the 3:38 mark of the second, the Sharks, having just killed off a penalty, when Tomas Hertl fed an open Joe Pavelski on the doorstep for the tally. The goal was the King-killer’s 24th of the year as the Sharks got the momentum they needed. It stayed that way until the third.
In the third, and with Los Angeles on the power play, Drew Doughty tied it up by teeing his ninth past Jones. The goal also tied Doughty for the team lead with power play goals with seven, assisted by Jake Muzzin and Anze Kopitar. But the Sharks regained their lead as Logan Couture beat Jhonas Enroth for his third at the 11:42 mark.
The Sharks held their slim one-goal lead into the final minute of regulation.
On Saturday, the Kings were unable to pull their goalie as the Coyotes were all over them in their own zone. It looked as if history was going to repeat itself on Sunday but the silver-and-black were able to carry the puck into the offensive zone and, with Enroth on the bench for the extra skater, Vinny Lecavalier banged his fourth past Jones with just 12 seconds to go in regulation to tie it. Tanner Pearson and Dustin Brown picked up the assists. This one was heading to overtime.
In the extra frame, each team had a bevy of chances until with 54 seconds left when Tyler Toffoli fed Marian Gaborik. There, the veteran slapped his ninth into the top corner over the shoulder of Martin Jones to end the game and end Los Angeles’s two-game losing streak.
With the win, the Kings extend their lead on the Sharks to nine points while showing shades of their 2014 playoff run by clawing back to win. The victory also gives Los Angeles 30 on the year which makes the first time in franchise history that they reached the plateau in under 50 games.
The Kings may have missed Milan Lucic but they were just fine in the hits department. Trevor Lewis led the way with seven while Dustin Brown had five. As for Jhonas Enroth, he earns his first win since Nov. 12 as he made 30 saves en route to said victory. He is now 4-3-0 on the year.
This was a big win for the silver-and-black but they have one more game before the All-Star break. The Kings return home on Wednesday night when they play host to the Colorado Avalanche.