In their final regular season home game of the season, the playoff bound San Jose Sharks played host to the Los Angeles Kings Monday night in front of a packed house at HP Pavilion. In Luc Robitaille's final game of his career, the Kings pulled out a win, defeating the Sharks by the final score of 4-0.
Evgeni Nabokov, looking for his second consecutive victory, took the net for the Sharks, while Jason LaBarbera opposed him at the other end of the ice.
Before the contest started, chants of “MVP” echoed through the Shark Tank when Joe Thornton was named the Seagate Technology Sharks Player of the Year on fan appreciation night.
Three minutes into the contest, the Kings were penalized for having too many men on the ice, giving the Sharks their first power play of the night. Jonathan Cheechoo nearly notched a highlight real goal when he tipped in a puck between his legs directly in front of the net, but LaBarbera found the puck and made the save.
Immediately after Los Angeles left the box, they were sent right back in when Lubomir Visnovsky was whistled for tripping. The Sharks couldn’t capitalize, however, as the Kings returned to full strength.
With just over five minutes left in the first, San Jose went on their third power play of the evening when Tom Kostopoulous was called for hooking Kyle McLaren. But it was the Kings who would light the lamp first when Pavel Demitra notched a shorthanded goal. He fired a slapshot from the point that went five-hole on Nabokov. The Kings took the 1-0 lead.
When the teams headed to the locker room, the Sharks still trailed 1-0.
When play resumed in the second, the Kings earned a power play six minutes in after the Sharks were called for having too many men on the ice. Los Angeles wasted little time, as 57 seconds in they extended their lead to two after Mark Parrish flicked one top shelf past Nabokov.
A Mark Parrish tripping penalty put San Jose up a man with eight minutes left in the second stanza, but San Jose could not capitalize and the deficit remained two.
Hostilities were apparent late in the second when Eric Belanger and Nils Ekman exchanged shots after the whistle. This power went L.A.’s way, but they could not increase their advantage heading into the third.
The Kings increased their lead to 3-0 early in the third when a Mike Cammalleri wrister bounced off Nabokov and across the goal line. San Jose had come from three goals down against the Kings earlier this season and they had 16 minutes to pull it off a third time.
They would start their attempt during 29 seconds of four-on-three time and the subsequent 1:31 of five-on-four time. That time expired and time seemed to be on the Kings side.
The Kings would add a late power play insurance tally from Mattias Norstrom, making it 4-0 with four minutes remaining.
The Sharks tried to light the lamp at least once, but couldn't manage to do so, as LaBarbera earned the 4-0 shutout victory.