In what was a huge Pacific division match-up Sunday night in Northern California, the Kings pulled out some late-game magic to stun the San Jose Sharks with a 3-2 victory at SAP Center.
For the Kings, it was their 30th win of the season, and it’s the fastest they’ve reached that plateau in franchise history, Sunday’s contest being the 48th of the campaign. The team reached the 30-win mark in their 51st game in 2005-’06 and 1980-’81.
Jhonas Enroth, who hadn’t played since January 4, made his seventh start of the season in the same building he made 39 saves in to help the Kings trump the Sharks earlier this season on October 22.
Although the Kings got off to a much better start than they did Saturday night in Arizona, there was nothing to show for their efforts on the scoreboard.
San Jose struck first in the opening minutes of the second period when Joe Pavelski and the Sharks capitalized on a poorly timed Kings line change.
Still without a goal entering the third period, San Jose’s Mike Brown woke up the Kings, and namely Drew Doughty, when he caught him with an elbow to the head. On the ensuing power play, Doughty rifled home a slap shot to knot the score 1-1.
Anze Kopitar found Jake Muzzin with a pass atop the left point, who then delivered a perfect feed to Drew Doughty. Doughty controlled the puck, turned and stepped into a shot that beat Martin Jones high to the blocker side.
With just over eight minutes to play in regulation Logan Couture scored to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.
Down 2-1 with only seconds to play and Jonathan Quick pulled from his net in lieu of an extra attacker, Vincent Lecavalier pounded home the game-tying goal with only 12.2 seconds left on the clock.
Dustin Brown, low in the left corner of San Jose’s zone, fired a desperation shot/pass toward Martin Jones’ crease, which Lecavalier got a handle of, poking it through Jones’ five-hole to send the game to overtime.
During the final minute of overtime, Tyler Toffoli
fired a lengthy pass to Marian Gaborik
, who then walked in on Martin Jones
, beating the Sharks’ goaltender with a shot high to the glove side.
Eight different players led the Kings in points scored (1), Jeff Carter
in shots taken (5), Trevor Lewis
and Luke Schenn
in hits delivered (7), Anze Kopitar
, Alec Martinz and Luke Schenn
in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty
in minutes played (28:37). Jhonas Enroth
made 30 saves in the win.
The Kings now return home for one game before the All-Star break, they’ll host the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night at STAPLES Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 7:30 PM PST.
MARIAN GABORIK -
VINCENT LECAVALIER -