The Los Angeles Kings were denied their sixth consecutive road win, falling 4-2 to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion Thursday night.
The Sharks jumped out to a quick lead, scoring a goal just 34 seconds into the game, but center Michal Handzus even the score at 1-1 with his 11th goal of the season at 4:24 in the first period.
“That’s a start we obviously didn’t want,” Alternate Captain Anze Kopitar
said. “We got it right back but we kind of got back on our heels and we were pressing. We weren’t the same team that played last night in Anaheim.”
After falling behind 2-1 after Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau’s goal late in the first period, Alexander Frolov netted the equalizer on a power play at 3:53 in the second stanza with an assist from left wing Patrick O'Sullivan and Captain Dustin Brown
The Sharks tacked on two goals later in the second period and held on to win their league-leading 25th home victory.
“(Fatigue) isn’t a factor,” Kopitar said. “We got to get ourselves ready to play. It would have been nice to win here.”
But Los Angeles did finished 6-for-7 on the penalty kill on the typically potent Sharks offense.
“We were pretty good on the penalty kill today,” said Kopitar. “We gave up a couple last night, but we take pride in our penalty kill and definitely pay attention to it.”
The last time the Kings won six straight road games was on Oct. 29 – Nov. 14, 1984. The franchise record for consecutive road wins remains eight when the Kings accomplished the feat on Dec. 18, 1974 – Jan. 16 1975. Los Angeles has won nine of their last 13 games and is 9-3-1 in their last 13 road games.
HOME SWEET HOME?
The Kings will return to the STAPLES Center for one game, Saturday against the Coyotes at 1 p.m., before hitting the road again for a five-game road trip. In 33 home games, Los Angeles is 13-12-8, but is 12-11-1 in only 24 road games. Entering tonight’s contest, the Kings average 2.78 goals for on the road compared to 2.61 goals for in their home building. But, they are more effective on the power play at STAPLES (33-161 or 20.5 percent) than in enemy territory (18-for-96 or 18.8 percent).
“IF YOU’RE NOT FIRST, YOU’RE LAST”
Los Angeles has won only three games and earned points in just nine games this year in which the opposition has scored first (3-17-6).
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?
With an assist on Alexander Frolov’s goal in the second period, Captain Dustin Brown
now has 99 career assists. Brown has 19 points in the last 14 games (8-11=19) and multi-points games in six of the last 12. Brown and his linemates, Kyle Calder and Jarret Stoll
, have combined for 43 points (17-26=43) in their last 14 games.
“Brown is a great player,” Kopitar said. “He works hard every night. He’s one of the top hitter’s in the NHL. That’s what makes him so special. He brings something to the table every night. That line has great chemistry. They’ve been playing together for quite a while so hopefully they’re going to continue to produce.” THIS AND THAT
Sharks Claude Lemieux assisted on San Jose’s fourth goal midway through the second period. It was his first point since he had an assist on May 3, 2003 in the playoffs as a member of the Dallas Stars. His last point during the regular season was on March 9, 2003 in a 3-0 win over the Sharks…Handzus has collected points in seven of his last 10 games (4-3=7)…San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov earned his 30th win of the season…Netminder Erik Ersberg has not won a game since Dec. 13 when he won 3-1 against Minnesota. Compiled by Cecile Nguyen | special to LAKings.com