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Kings blow four-goal lead but beat Sharks 6-4 @NHLdotcom

Los Angeles coach Terry Murray wants his team to get pucks to the net. That philosophy paid off in a win on Tuesday night.

Teddy Purcell's goal from behind the goal line with 5:10 left in regulation revived the Kings after they blew a four-goal lead in a 6-4 victory against the San Jose Sharks.

Dany Heatley's power-play goal -- the fourth in as many man advantages by the Sharks -- with 5:36 remaining in regulation tied the game and capped San Jose's comeback from a 4-0 deficit. Heatley got just inside the left circle and teed up a slap shot that went through a screen and past Jonathan Quick.

But with the Kings reeling, Purcell controlled the puck behind the goal line in the corner to the left of Thomas Greiss and banked the puck into the net off the rookie goaltender, who came slightly off his post. Greiss was in the game because Sharks coach Todd McLellan hooked starter Evgeni Nabokov after the Kings' fourth goal, a wrist shot by Anze Kopitar that found the net at 12:16 of the second period.

"The goal by Purcell -- that was a shot mentality," Murray said. "Not a lot of guys would score on that shot, but Teddy is a scorer."

David Drewiske added an empty-net goal with 1:19 remaining.

A year ago, blowing a four-goal lead might have sent the Kings reeling. Not this time.

"The feeling on the bench was that it was still our game to win," captain Dustin Brown said.

The Kings won for the first time this season after losing their opener to Phoenix on Saturday and beat the Sharks for just the fifth time in 16 tries at the Staples Center. San Jose went 1-2-0 on a season-opening three-game trip. The Sharks host Columbus in their home opener on Thursday.

"It wasn't our greatest game on Saturday," Kopitar said, "It was nice to see the team bounce back, especially against a team like San Jose."

The Kings opened the scoring 5:49 into the game after some nice work by Alexander Frolov, who controlled the puck behind the net, came out to the right of Nabokov and jammed a shot on net. Nabokov stopped that and made an excellent save on Michal Handzus, but was defenseless as Wayne Simmonds whacked the puck into the open left side for his first of the season.

San Jose's Ryane Clowe took a roughing penalty as the first period expired, and the Kings capitalized at 1:52 of the second when Ryan Smyth did what GM Dean Lombardi brought him to L.A. to do -- score dirty goals. The veteran forward swatted home a rebound after the Kings kept pounding the puck at Nabokov's net.

"We got a lot of shots, a lot of bodies in front of the net, a lot of traffic -- and that made it tough for Nabokov," Brown said.

The Kings continued to control the play and were rewarded by scoring twice in 54 seconds to take a 4-0 lead.

With the teams playing 4-on-4, Jack Johnson batted Handzus' backhand pass out of the air and past Nabokov at 11:20. Kopitar then whipped a wrist shot from the top of the right circle into the net at 12:16 to give the Kings a seemingly safe lead -- and bring on Greiss.
But the Sharks regrouped and got back into the game with two power-play goals late in the second period.

Devin Setoguchi got San Jose on the board at the 16-minute mark, taking a perfect setup by Joe Thornton and beating Quick with a shot from the slot. Rob Blake made it 4-2 at 19:43, slipping down from the point and knocking Thornton's pass behind Quick from just outside the crease.

That goal came during the first half of a double minor penalty to Frolov at 17:52. The Sharks cashed in the second half 1:01 into the third period when Setoguchi slipped behind the defense and banged in Heatley's feed for his second of the night to cut the margin to one goal.

"We didn't give up," Setoguchi said. "But tonight was not a moral victory. We've got to learn. We're not happy with the effort we put our there."

-- John Kreiser,

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