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Kings fall 5-3 to Sharks in return home

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings

Victory wasn’t the case in the Kings’ return home, falling 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night at STAPLES Center.

The Kings’ matchup with the Sharks kicked off a five-game run against Pacific Division opponents, games critical in maintaining the team’s top position in the group. Now 1-2-0 against San Jose this season, the Kings have dropped both meetings against the Sharks on home ice.

An early two-goal lead was built by the Kings, who were all over the Sharks from the start, outshooting San Jose 21-6 during the first period.

Less than two minutes into the game, after the Kings won an offensive zone faceoff, Tyler Toffoli wristed home the first goal of the night. Tanner Pearson chipped the puck back to Toffoli after Jeff Carter tied up his centerman, and he bled a wrist-shot through Justin Braun and past Martin Jones.

Less than three minutes later, Trevor Lewis struck for his third goal of the season to give the Kings a 2-0 lead.

Dustin Brown, with the puck along the half-boards in San Jose’s zone, fired a wrist shot on net that Trevor Lewis redirected past Martin Jones. For Lewis, it was his first non empty-net goal of the season, coming in his second game back from injury.

Joe Thornton scored to get the Sharks on the board later in the first period.

Tyler Toffoli scored his second goal of the evening with just over two minutes to play in the second when he buried a gorgeous pass from Tanner Pearson to notch his 14th of the season.

Brent Burns responded for San Jose 57 seconds later to get the Sharks back to within a goal.

In the third, Joe Pavelski scored a pair of power play goals in a 1:32 minute spand to give the Sharks a 4-3 lead. Brent Burns added an empty-net goal with 1:10 to play to give San Jose a 5-3 lead, the night’s final score.

Tanner Pearson (2A) and Tyler Toffoli (2G) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Trevor Lewis and Jeff Carter in shots taken (5), Jake Muzzin in hits delivered (5), Christian Ehrhoff in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (29:11).

The Kings will begin a four-game road trip Saturday night when they take on the Arizona Coyotes at the Gila River Arena, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 6:00PM PST.

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