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Enroth, Carter power Kings past Sharks

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- The Los Angeles Kings had payback on their minds Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.

Consider the score settled.

Backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth made 39 saves in his first start of the season, Jeff Carter scored two goals and the Kings routed San Jose 4-1 at SAP Center, 15 days after getting blown out by the Sharks at Staples Center on opening night.

Carter also assisted on goals by Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic for the Kings (3-3-0), who won their third straight game.

"We pretty much got embarrassed that first game at home," Carter said of the Kings' 5-1 loss on Oct. 7. "I think it was big for us to come in and prove ourselves, I guess, if that's the right word. We pretty much had to. They pretty much ran over us in Game 1. This was a big game for us. This was a big task coming in here. It's always a tough place to play. I thought we did a good job."

Enroth, who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent on July 1, improved to 4-0-0 in his career against San Jose.

"I figured they were going to come out pretty hard and try and shoot from everywhere because I hadn't played yet, and that's what they did," Enroth said. "I was ready for that, and I think we prepared pretty well for this game.

"It's a great feeling. I haven't played for three weeks or so, since the preseason. I've been waiting for a while, and I've been staying pretty sharp throughout this time in practice. I've been feeling pretty well. I was just excited to get a start."

Joel Ward scored for San Jose (4-3-0), which lost its third straight game after winning four in a row to open the season. Martin Jones made 25 saves against his former team.

"We had a lot of shots, a lot of chances in and around the net," Sharks forward Matt Nieto said. "The goalie just stood on his head. We kind of let down after that first period. Those are times you have to keep going."

The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play, including 33 seconds with a 5-on-3 advantage. They are 0-for-10 with the extra man in the four games since center Logan Couture was sidelined by a broken leg.

"We definitely had our chances on the power play, but it didn't find its way in," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "That's always a difference."

The Kings were outshot 18-8 in the first period but skated off with a 2-0 lead on goals by Toffoli and Lucic.

Toffoli scored his team-high fourth of the season and third in three games at 11:37, giving Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. He took a pass from Jake Muzzin in the left circle, headed toward the crease and beat Jones with a slick move, faking right then going left. Toffoli put the puck off the left post from close range, then tapped it in.

Lucic made it 2-0 at 19:32 with a power-play goal. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff fired a shot from the point and Lucic redirected the puck past Jones for his first goal with the Kings.

"The most important thing about today's game was the response from the 5-1 loss we had in the opening game," Lucic said. "Our mindset was in the right place and taking this as step forward from the last two wins. I think that was the big reason why we came into one of the toughest buildings in the NHL and got a big win here. Great job obviously by [Enroth], his first start here. He steps up and makes 39 saves. He kept us in there and gave us a big chance to win. Today finally we were able to execute on our opportunities."

The Kings increased their lead to 3-0 at 3:46 of the second period when Carter scored from the right circle on a 2-on-1 rush. The goal, Carter's first of the season, came on the Kings' 10th shot of the game.

San Jose cut the Kings' lead to 3-1 at 15:06 on Ward's second of the season. Pavelski skated behind the net and hit Ward with a pass in the slot. Ward beat Enroth with a backhand.

But Carter put the game away with a power-play goal at 9:37 of the third period. He fired a shot from the left circle that bounced off the glass, came back up and over the net, then ricocheted off Jones' left pad and over the goal line.

"I caught a lucky bounce coming back," Carter said. "I've never really seen that before. I'll take it."

The Sharks got a scare late in the first period when center Joe Thornton took a hard hit from Muzzin along the boards and hit the back of his head on the ice. He appeared wobbly as he skated off the ice and went directly to the locker room with 1:55 left in the period, but returned early in the second period.

"It was a relief, but we wouldn't have put him back in if he wasn't cleared and if I saw any issues with him," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.

The Kings called up defenseman Jamie McBain from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Thursday to take the place of Derek Forbort, who missed the game with an illness.

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