Photo credit: @PR_NHL
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks shutout the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 at SAP Center Saturday night. It was Martin Jones’ 100th NHL win and the first time the Sharks shutout the Kings in San Jose in over a decade. Sharks goals were scored by Marcus Sorensen and Joe Pavelski. Jones made 28 saves for the win, while Jonathan Quick made 31 saves in a losing effort for the Kings. Pavelski’s power play goal extended the Sharks’ power play success to an eight-game streak.
After the game, Sharks assistant coach Rob Zettler said:
I thought that was one of our best games of the year so far, against a division team, obviously and able to gain two points on those guys. Defensively we’ve been good all year, we’ve been starting to put the puck in the back of the net the last few games, last couple of weeks so it’s a good feeling.
Over those last couple of weeks, the Sharks have had to lean on their top lines for scoring. With Logan Couture injured, the team needs even more from the bottom six than before. That was the difference Saturday, said Zettler:
Tonight specifically I thought we got some quality minutes from our fourth line: Ward, Boedker, Sorensen, obviously scored the goal. I thought that was a major difference, being able to put those guys out in key times, key moments, and keep our big guys’ minutes down a little bit.
The game started with a strange sequence of penalties. First, Justin Braun was called for tripping Marian Gaborik, and it was a questionable call at best. 42 seconds into the Kings power play, Oscar Fantenberg was called for delay of game by concealing the puck. Depending on your bias, he either fell or threw himself down to the ice, momentarily concealing the puck. The puck was visible and moving almost immediately, so if it was an attempt to freeze the puck it was not a successful one.
Apart from penalties, it was a very rough-and-tumble game. Brenden Dillon and Timo Meier stood out, but it was a skirmish-laden event for almost everyone on the ice.
“It was fun to be on the bench, the physical part was fun. You know, Timo and Dillon and Burnsie’s hit against good players, really fun to be a part of,” said Zettler after the game. “You could feel the energy, not only in the building but you could feel it on the bench.”
The second period started with more penalties. First, Jonny Brodzinski hit Timo Meier, who responded by holding on and being dragged away from the boards. Brodzinski then threw Meier to the ice and got four minutes for roughing. Meier got two minutes for holding. During the ensuing four-on-four, the Kings were called for too many men on the ice, giving the Sharks about a minute of four-on-three action. With three penalty killers and then with four, the Kings killed off all of that.
One second past the midpoint of the game, Sorensen put the Sharks on the board. Key to his goal was that Quick was too far out of his net as the Sharks entered the zone. Sorensen changed direction abruptly right in front of Quick and was able to put the puck in with a backhand. Assists went to Mikkel Boedker and Dylan DeMelo.
The second goal came in the third period, on the Sharks’ fifth power play of the night. Tomas Hertl was in moving in front of the net, with Pavelski a little ways up in the slot. Burns took the shot from the blue line and Pavelski redirected it in. Burns took that shot right off a faceoff win by Pavelski, just six seconds into the power play.
The Sharks return to action Thursday when they host the Calgary Flames at 7:30 PM PT.