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game recap

Sharks 3, Kings 2

Monday, 06.18.2012 / 11:11 PM

San Jose Sharks Staff

Milan Michalek lead the way offensively with a pair of goals while Evgeni Nabokov was superb in net making 29 saves as the San Jose Sharks (19-12-5) defeated the Los Angeles Kings (12-24-2) by a 3-2 final on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Click here for pictures from Wednesday night's 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings (PICS ).

Nabokov started his 36th consecutive game this season and right wing Jonathan Cheechoo returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a sore groin.

With early four-on-four play due to matching minors to Marcel Goc and Lubomir Visnovsky, former Shark Brad Stuart caught Joe Thornton with a high-stick and the Sharks had 30 seconds of four-on-three time. The Sharks could not capitalize on the power play with the extra open ice or at the traditional five-on-four numbers and the game remained scoreless.

San Jose Sharks left wing Milan Michalek, left, of the Czech Republic celebrates his goal as Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Giuliano looks on during the first period of their NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
When the Kings were at even strength, Dustin Brown led a two-on-one and managed a backhander from the slot, only to see Nabokov easily corral the puck.

San Jose captured the early lead courtesy of the re-formed Patrick Marleau line. Marleau and Sandis Ozolinsh controlled the puck along the boards and Ozolinsh fed Milan Michalek near the point. He powered the puck toward the net where Steve Bernier was creating traffic and Jason LaBarbera never saw the shot.

The tally was a strong omen for San Jose as they were 13-5-3 when posting the first tally.

Team Teal would make it 2-0 thanks to Joe Pavelski a moment later. On a relatively simply play, Pavelski grabbed a loose puck eight feet from LaBarbera’s left and quickly lifted a backhand to the top corner.

The tally prompted Los Angeles’ Head Coach Marc Crawford to pull LaBarbera for Jean-Sebastien Aubin midway through the first.

Aubin was tested in the period’s final minutes as he faced a one-on-one showdown with Michalek loose in front, but Aubin handled the deke and subsequent forehand shot.

Los Angeles had a power play to close out the first when San Jose was called for too many men on the ice, but the home club could not close the gap. With 10 seconds left in the stanza, Patrick Rissmiller intercepted a pass and skated in on a breakaway, but he shot just wide and the period finished with San Jose up 2-0.

Looking to build on their strong first period performance, the Sharks came out aggressively to begin the second. However San Jose’s aggression translated into consecutive penalties on Cheechoo for interference and Christian Ehrhoff for cross-checking, granting the Kings a five-on-three man advantage.

The Kings capitalized on their opportunity with 13:42 to play in the second when Rob Blake blasted a slap shot past a sprawling Nabokov. Blake’s goal cut the Sharks lead to 2-1 and seemed to jump-start a slumping Kings squad.

San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov of Kazakhstan is scored on by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Blake, not pictured, during the second period of their NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Matt Carle did his part in escalating the game’s intensity with 5:22 to play in the second when he absolutely clobbered Kings forward Ladislav Nagy with a perfectly-timed shoulder check. Nagy remained on the ice for a few minutes as he struggled to catch his breath.

On Nagy’s next shift, the Kings forward sought retribution for the hit he absorbed and went after Carle in front of the Sharks cage. Nagy cross-checked the Sharks defenseman and was looking to start something, but Carle refused to be drawn into a bad penalty.

Craig Rivet took exception to Nagy’s questionable stick work on his defensive partner and again drilled Nagy with a clean shoulder check. As the play made its way to the Sharks cage, Nagy then began cross-checking Rivet who responded with a pair of cross-checks of his own.

Rivet’s second cross-check came up high on Nagy who did his best to sell the call. The play resulted in Rivet receiving a match penalty for intent to injure, giving the Kings a golden opportunity with a five-minute power play to close the second period.

The Sharks managed to kill the first 2:40 of the five-minute power play as the second period closed with the Sharks leading 2-1.

San Jose killed the remaining 2:20 of the advantage to open the third and wrestled away any momentum the Kings had generated, thanks in part to a huge glove save by Nabokov on Nagy. A tic-tac-toe passing play forced Nabokov to stack the pads moving to his left as Nagy ripped a shot targeted for the top corner, but Nabokov snagged the puck out of the air keeping it a 2-1 Sharks lead.

With 16:36 to play in the third, Michalek provided the Sharks with a valuable insurance goal, making it 3-1. Michalek redirected a Joe Thornton shot past Aubin giving the Sharks their second two-goal lead of the game.

Things got tense in the final minute of regulation when a Carle slashing penalty lead to another Kings power play goal and made it a 3-2 game, but the Sharks were able to close out the remaining seconds in regulation to snap their three-game winless streak and extend their road winning streak to seven games.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Sharks showed no ill effects of having to travel on game day, improving to 13-3-2 on the road this season. San Jose enjoyed days off for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day forcing the Sharks to make the trek south to face their intrastate rivals this morning. With their 13-3-2 mark, the Sharks are tied for the best mark in the League with the Ottawa Senators who defeated the Sabres in Buffalo on Wednesday night.

LINEUP

Jonathan Cheechoo was activated from the IR and made his return to the lineup after missing seven games with a groin injury, Douglas Murray (ankle) missed his second straight game and Devin Setoguchi and Curtis Brown were healthy scratches.

Cheechoo – Thornton – Roenick
Michalek – Marleau – Bernier
Rissmiller – Mitchell – Grier
Davison – Goc – Pavelski

Carle – Rivet
McLaren – Vlasic
Ozolinsh – Ehrhoff

Nabokov – Patzold

NEXT GAME

The Sharks continue their four-game post-Christmas road trip on Friday, traveling to St. Louis for their first meeting of the season against the Blues. The game is set for 5:30 PM (Pacific) and will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM, Sharks Radio Network Affiliates and SJSHARKS.com.



From the AP Wire


LOS ANGELES (AP) -Home ice advantage hasn't meant anything this season when the San Jose Sharks have played the Los Angeles Kings.

 

The Kings have won all three meetings in San Jose and the Sharks have prevailed both times at Staples Center, including Wednesday night's 3-2 victory - which gave them a club-record seven straight road wins. The previous club mark was set Nov. 30-Dec. 19, 2001.

"We get out to good starts on the road," coach Ron Wilson said. "It's easier to play on the road when you have a one-goal or two-goal lead. It seems a lot more difficult to do that at home because everybody tries to get fancy."

Milan Michalek had his seventh career two-goal game, Joe Pavelski also scored and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 29 shots for San Jose in the opener of a four-game road trip, helping send the team with the NHL's worst record to its eighth straight loss overall.

The losing streak is the Kings' longest since 2003-04, when they dropped their final 11 games. They have won only four of their last 22 overall, with two of those victories coming at San Jose. Dustin Brown, the team's leading goal scorer, returned to the lineup after missing two games with a shoulder injury and had only three shots in net in almost 22 minutes of ice time.

"The only solace in all of this hopefully is that the guys learn to hate losing," said coach Marc Crawford, who was booed by the sellout crowd of 18,118 when his name was announced along with the starting lineup. "There's some dejected people in our room right now, but I don't think anybody is quitting. There's a lot of effort. All you can ask for is better execution."

The Sharks came in with an overall percentage of 87.1 on the penalty kill, and a 91.2 mark away from the Shark Tank. They gave up power-play goals by Rob Blake and Lubomir Visnovsky, but managed to kill off a 5-minute man advantage the Kings received after Craig Rivet was ejected at 17:20 of the second period for cross-checking Ladislav Nagy in the throat.

The attempt-to-injure penalty was in retaliation for Nagy's cross-check against one of Rivet's teammates seconds earlier. Nabokov stopped all three shots during those pulsating 5 minutes, preserving the Sharks' one-goal lead, and Michalek made it 3-1 just 64 seconds later when he redirected Joe Thornton's shot for his 12th goal with 16:24 to play.

"It was very important to kill that penalty because it was 5 minutes. We scored right after that, and that was the game right there," Michalek said. "It was important to win tonight because we've lost three games against them."

Los Angeles goalie Jason LaBarbera absorbed his fifth loss in as many games after missing the previous eight because of a rib injury. He allowed two goals on nine shots in the first 12:43 of play and was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

The Sharks, who did not have a first-period goal in any of their previous four games, opened the scoring at the 9:02 mark when Michalek beat LaBarbera through a screen with a one-timer from the top of the left circle to end a five-game scoring drought.

"He took advantage and got a couple of lucky bounces," Wilson said. "I'm glad his luck changed a little bit."

Pavelski made it 2-0 with his eighth of the season. He came out of the right corner with the puck and took a sharp-angle shot that LaBarbera stopped, but Kings center Anze Kopitar couldn't control the rebound and Pavelski flipped it into the top right corner over LaBarbera's glove.

Blake got Los Angeles on the board at 6:18 of the second period, beating Nabokov to the glove side with a one-timer from the top of the right circle while Sharks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff was serving an interference penalty.

Visnovsky ended the scoring 28 seconds before the final horn while Matt Carle was off for slashing. It was only the eighth power-play goal allowed on the road by the Sharks.

"Our special teams were very good, but unfortunately it didn't make the difference tonight because they scored all their goals 5-on-5," Crawford said.

Jonathan Cheechoo returned to the San Jose lineup after missing seven games because of a groin injury, getting four shots on net in less than 15 minutes of ice time. Cheechoo has only four goals in 29 games this season, after leading the team with 37 last season and leading the league with a career-high 56 in 2005-06.

Notes: The Kings observed a moment of silence for longtime Los Angeles TV and radio sportscaster Stu Nahan, who died Wednesday at age 81 from lymphoma. Nahan did play-by-play of the Kings' first game at the Inglewood Forum on Dec. 30, 1967 while working the game for CBS Sports.

scoring summary
1st Period
09:02
SJS
Milan Michalek (11) Slapshot - ASST: Sandis Ozolinsh (6), Patrick Marleau (10)
1 - 0 SJS
12:17
SJS
Joe Pavelski (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Marcel Goc (3)
2 - 0 SJS
2nd Period
06:18
LAK
PPG - Rob Blake (3) Slapshot - ASST: Alex Frolov (18), Ladislav Nagy (11)
2 - 1 SJS
3rd Period
03:24
SJS
Milan Michalek (12) Tip-in - ASST: Joe Thornton (28), Christian Ehrhoff (13)
3 - 1 SJS
19:32
LAK
PPG - Lubomir Visnovsky (3) Slapshot - ASST: Rob Blake (14), Anze Kopitar (22)
3 - 2 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
02:42
LAK
Lubomir Visnovsky  Roughing against  Marcel Goc
02:42
SJS
Marcel Goc  Roughing against  Lubomir Visnovsky
04:12
LAK
Brad Stuart  Hi-sticking against  Joe Thornton
18:16
SJS
Rob Davison  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
02:41
LAK
Rob Blake  Cross checking against  Joe Pavelski
03:57
SJS
Jonathan Cheechoo  Interference against  Dustin Brown
05:16
SJS
Christian Ehrhoff  Cross checking against  Anze Kopitar
16:04
LAK
Jack Johnson  Cross checking against  Joe Thornton
16:04
SJS
Joe Thornton  Roughing against  Jack Johnson
17:20
SJS
Craig Rivet  Match penalty against  Ladislav Nagy
17:20
SJS
Craig Rivet  Elbowing against  Ladislav Nagy
17:20
LAK
Ladislav Nagy  Cross checking against  Craig Rivet
3rd Period
05:23
LAK
Rob Blake  Hi-sticking against  Christian Ehrhoff
19:27
SJS
Matthew Carle  Slashing against  Brad Stuart
goalie stats
Evgeni Nabokov
SA: 31TOI: 59:24
Saves: 29EV: 24 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 7
SV%: .935SH: 0 - 0
Jason LaBarbera
Jason LaBarbera
SA: 9TOI: 12:17
Saves: 7EV: 4 - 6
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .778SH: 0 - 0
Jean-Sebastien Aubin
Jean-Sebastien Aubin
SA: 22TOI: 46:32
Saves: 21EV: 18 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .955SH: 0 - 0