San Jose opened the first of consecutive games against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night at HP Pavilion in the Sharks first game in a week.
Milan Michalek and Craig Rivet returned to the lineup and Evgeni Nabokov and Jason LaBarbera were the netminders on the ice.
San Jose killed off an early penalty to Kyle McLaren and was pushing the offense early, but could not score the early goal. Steve Bernier just missed on a wraparound and Torrey Mitchell
almost poked home a rebound in the first five minutes.
Hard work by Jonathan Cheechoo drew a trip by Derek Armstrong, but San Jose struggled to hold the zone and the game remained scoreless eight minutes in.
Midway through the first, Los Angeles found the opening tally. Former Shark blueliner Tom Preissing fired a point shot and Dustin Brown reached in for the redirect, providing a 1-0 Kings lead.
Late in the first, the visitors would make it 2-0 while on the power play. With just 44 seconds remaining in the first, Los Angeles’ efforts forced extended action in the Sharks zone and Anze Kopitar made them pay when he fired home a blast from inside the right faceoff circle.
San Jose held the first period shot advantage, but trailed by two goals after 20 minutes.
Team Teal had the first big opportunity of the second when Patrick Rissmiller made a beautiful cross ice fed to a driving Bernier. The Quebec native took a quick swipe at the puck, but LaBarbera slid over just in time for the pad stop.
Halfway through the second Ladislav Nagy skated in on Nabokov, and when a slight tug from Christian Ehrhoff sent the Kings forward to the ice, a penalty shot was awarded. The play would go to Nabokov though as he easily turned away the shot.
San Jose had almost doubled the Kings in shots through 40 minutes (20-11), but trailed by the same two goals they did after the first intermission.
The Kings tightened up their defense in the third, allowing just one San Jose shot in the first ten minutes of the period.
However, with 7:19 left in regulation, the HP Pavilion crowd was ignited. Taking a faceoff deep in the Kings zone, Joe Pavelski
drew it directly to Milan Michalek who one-timed the puck past LaBarbera before many in the building knew what happened.
That started a rush of energy in the building and within the Sharks players as they began controlling play in the Kings zone. With 1:08 remaining, Evgeni Nabokov was pulled from the Sharks net and San Jose had a faceoff in the Los Angeles zone. With the extra attacker the Sharks failed to score the equalizer.