Three Kings ended long goal droughts Wednesday night, helping Los Angeles end its victory drought in San Jose.
Anze Kopitar, Teddy Purcell and Dustin Brown all ended droughts, with Brown getting his first in 15 games 1:16 into overtime to give the Kings a 5-4 victory over the Sharks on Wednesday night, ending a five-game losing streak at HP Pavilion.
The Sharks rallied from a 4-2 deficit to force OT on goals by Dan Boyle late in the second period and Manny Malhotra at 12:19 of the third. But after Dany Heatley's pass to the point went out of the Sharks' zone early in overtime, Brown took the puck at center ice, skated into the Sharks zone and beat Evgeni Nabokov through the legs from the high slot for his seventh goal of the season.
"It was off a broken play. They threw it out of our zone and I just got a jump on it. It was 2-on-1 with a backchecker," Brown said. "They backchecked pretty hard, and I just cut to the middle. I had it on my backhand and I just spun and shot. Obviously it wasn't the hardest shot, but I think I got him when he was moving. I'm not really sure."
It was a big measuring-stick game for the Kings, who haven't made the playoffs since 2002. They passed the test.
"Obviously it's huge for our team, not only in the standings but emotionally it's a big boost for us knowing we're capable of playing with these guys," Brown said. "To come in here and get points is a huge boost for us."
Earlier, Kopitar scored for the first time in 14 games when he fired a pass by Drew Doughty behind Nabokov at 5:43 of the second period to give Los Angeles a 3-2 lead. Purcell's game-opening goal at 6:12 of the first period was his first in 27 games after he scored twice in the season's first three contests.
"What a time to break through for three guys who have been snake bitten for a long time," coach Terry Murray said. "Hey, they were due. We stayed with them, kept playing them and believed in them. They got it going here tonight. Hopefully they can maintain that."
Perhaps no one was more relieved than Kopitar, who had been off to the best start of his career before his stick went cold.
"For myself, and I'm pretty sure for Teddy and Brownie, that was a couple monkeys jumping off our backs there," Kopitar said of breaking the goal drought. "I thought it was a pretty big game to score in, too. I'll take it, and we'll go from here."
The Kings are now 5-0-1 in their last six games and moved within three points of the first-place Sharks in the Pacific Division. San Jose lost its third in a row at home for the first time since 2007-08, though the Sharks got a point in two of the three games.
"I don't think we had everyone on board tonight," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "As a group, we need to be a lot sharper in a lot of different areas."
The goals by Purcell and Kopitar came on the power play -- no mean feat against a team that had allowed only three power-play goals at home before Wednesday.
"I think our penalty-kill let us down," McLellan said. "Our penalty-kill did some uncharacteristic things tonight, trying to stretch our shifts, trying to go on the offense. That's not how we’ve done it. I'm a little bit disappointed in that area."
San Jose led 2-1 after one period on goals by Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau before the Kings connected for three goals in the second period.
Jarret Stoll tipped Jack Johnson's point shot past Nabokov at 1:32 to tie the game at 2-2. Kopitar then got his 15th of the season but first in exactly a month to put the Kings ahead, and Doughty blasted a slap shot past Nabokov at 8:32 for a 4-2 lead.
Boyle's shot from the right circle beat Erik Ersberg at 12:38 to cut the deficit to one, and Malhotra's perfect wrist shot past the Kings' backup goaltender with 7:41 remaining tied the game.
"I thought we were pretty sloppy," Boyle said. "Four goals is usually pretty good and enough to win hockey games. We were just a little sloppy. We don't want to play that way but we're confident we can come back."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
Wrist shot -
1 - 0 LAK
Wrist shot -
1 - 1 Tie
Wrist shot -
2 - 1 SJS