The San Jose Sharks traveled to Los Angeles Saturday afternoon to take on the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks, looking to rebound from a 3-2 shootout loss at the hands of Edmonton Thursday night, sent Evgeni Nabokov to the net for the first time in three games, while the Kings had Mathieu Garon between the pipes.
On the first shift of the game, Craig Conroy was sent to the box for hooking. On the ensuing faceoff, Nils Ekman high-sticked Mattias Norstrom. The teams would play 1:56 of four-on-four.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead when Luc Robitaille fed Jeff Cowan right in front of the net and the winger dove while backhanding the puck past Nabokov.
Less than one minute later Joe Corvo fired a wrister on goal in which George Parros tipped past Nabokov. The Kings now led 2-0 with over 16 minutes remaining in the first.
Robataille was sent to the box for cross checking Marcel Goc midway through the first frame. It took just 15 seconds for the Sharks to capitalize when Patrick Marleau
wristed a shot from the point in which Grant Stevenson redirected past Garon. The Kings lead was now trimmed down to one.
Cowan was sent to the box with three minutes left for interference. As the penalty was getting set to expire, the Sharks tied the game at two. Mark Smith crashed the net and instead of putting the shot on goal he backhanded the puck to Cheechoo. Cheechoo had a wide open shot and he found the back of the net for the 26th time this season.
The period ended with both teams knotted at two.
The first half of the second period went by with neither team gaining any quality chances on net. The game only saw 15 shots (San Jose 9, Los Angeles 6) through the first 30 minutes of play.
The first scoring attempt for the Sharks in the second came when Tom Preissing fired a slapshot on Garon from just inside the blueline. The netminder stopped the shot, however, and the game remained tied at two.
With 4:34 remaining in the second, Lubomir Visnovsky was penalized for interfering with Goc. Nathan Dempsey hooked Jot Thornton with 36 seconds left in the Visnovsky penalty and the Sharks now had a five-on-three. Both penalties would expire without San Jose lighting the lamp.
The last minute of the period expired and the game remained 2-2.
Five minutes into the third, Los Angeles went onto the power play for just the second time n the game when Smith was whistled for interference. With 1:33 left in the advantage, Ekman hooked Michael Cammalleri, giving the Kings a five-on-three. Thanks to some solid saves by Nabokov and the defense stepping up, the Sharks were able to kill of both penalties, sending the game back to five-on-five.
Cheechoo was sent to the box for holding with just under 10 minutes left in the contest. This time the Kings would capitalize. Corvo fired a slapshot that slipped past Nabokov’s right leg pad. Los Angeles had the 3-2 lead with 7:33 left.
Jeff Giuliano was sent to the box for hooking. Garon made an unbelievable save on a Smith one-time attempt as the penalty expired. But no more than 20 seconds after he got out of the box, Giuliano was sent right back in for boarding. San Jose couldn’t capitalize and San Jose was now 2-for-7 on the power play.
Nabokov left the net with 56 seconds left on the clock in favor of an extra attacker. With 28 seconds left Joe Thornton
tied the game at three after Stevenson fed him right in front of the net. The remainder of the clock ticked off and the game was headed to overtime.
The Sharks will play host to the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night at HP Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the HP Pavilion box office and all Ticketmaster locations. The game can be seen on FSN or heard on the Sharks Radio Network or sjsharks.com.