San Jose flew down to Los Angeles for their first preseason game of the season against the Kings and earned a well-deserved 3-1 victory.
Nolan Schaefer drew the starting assignment for Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson and earned the win.
The game began with an early fight when Jeff Cowan decided he wanted to dance with Ryane Clowe
. After the bout he may have thought differently as the Sharks big winger won the fight and took his Kings counterpart to the ice at its conclusion.
San Jose drew first blood in the opening period thanks to rookie blueliner Matt Carle. Jonathan Cheechoo did the dirty work, driving the net and forcing a shot. The rebound ended up in the slot where Carle had stepped in and he launched a one-timer, giving San Jose the 1-0 lead.
While on a power play late in the first stanza, the lead became 2-0 courtesy of Clowe. Mark Smith and Grant Stevenson picked up the assists. An initial shot led to a mad scramble out front with Smith and Clowe hammering away at the loose puck. Clowe found it first to provide the two-goal lead after 20 minutes.
Midway through the second stanza, the clubs sent in replacement netminders, with Dimitri Patzold and Jonathan Bernier stepping in the crease. In a half game’s worth of work, Schaefer stopped all 17 shots faced, including a breakaway while San Jose was on the power play.
The new netminders would hold serve for the remainder of the stanza and the Sharks would retain their 2-0 lead through two periods.
Five minutes into the third, San Jose would increase their advantage. While on the power play, Pavelski skated through two defenders and lifted a backhander on net. The initial save was made, but the University of Wisconsin product and his teammates stayed in the fray looking for the rebound and Pavelski eventually knocked it in, pushing the lead to three goals.
As the third period wound down, Los Angeles finally broke through with a goal for the home fans as Rob Blake beat Patzold shorthanded for make things 3-1.
That would close out the scoring as Patzold stopped all 11 shots faced and Schaefer brought home the win.
Forwards: Bell, Cheechoo, Thornton, Kaspar, Goc, Nieminem, Darche, Pavelski, Stevenson, Clowe, Smith, Iggulden.
Defensemen: Hannan, Carle, Biron, Traverse, Spang, Vlasic.
Goaltenders: Schaefer, Patzold.
The Sharks will travel down south for a battle with division rival Anaheim on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. Updates will again be provided throughout the evening on sjsharks.com.