Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 Friday afternoon at the SAP Center. Sharks goals came from Patrick Marleau, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Noah Gregor and Logan Couture. Martin Jones made 33 saves for the win. The lone Kings goal came from Kyle Clifford and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves in the game. Friday’s win came after an ugly 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
The Sharks’ ability to rebound from losses has improved recently.
After the game, Sharks goaltender Martin Jones said: “Based on our record, I’d say yes. You know, we’ve got a lot of veteran guys in here, it’s nothing new. You go through it every year, tough stretches. It’s pretty important to get it turned around as quickly as you can, not let it spiral.”
One of the Sharks goals was a career-first.
Joe Thornton talked about Noah Gregor scoring his first NHL goal: “It changes your mindset when you get that first one. Confidence is such a big part of sports and you could see after he scored that, confidence just grew and hopefully it can grow from there.”
“It felt was awesome,” said Gregor. “It took, I think this is game 11? It took a bit but it was awesome to see the puck go in the net for the first time.” Of what the coaches have asked from him over this season, he said: “Just try to stay consistent in my game. Bring that speed. I think the speed is my biggest attribute, just try to bring that every single night. Also, my defensive game, always trying to improve it, be a little harder on pucks and plays a little bit quicker.”
The first goal came shortly after a Sharks power play, at 7:26 of the first period. Joe Thornton wrested control of the puck by the Kings net, carried it out to center and then found Marcus Sorensen on the wing. Sorensen convinced everyone that he was about to shoot, drawing defensive attention to him, and making Jonathan Quick come out to stop the shot. Instead, he sent a pass across the ice to Patrick Marleau, who was skating toward an open net. It was Marleau’s sixth of the season. Assists went to Sorensen and Thornton.
The second goal came from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at 13:14 during a delayed penalty. With two skaters lined up in front of Quick, Vlasic shot it in the short side, sneaking over Quick’s pad and through a narrow gap by the post. Assists went to Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier.
The Kings out-shot the Sharks 8-4 in the first period.
The Sharks resumed their scoring ways at 2:58 of the second period. Noah Gregor broke away through the neutral zone. He passed two Kings before catching a pass from Brenden Dillon and shooting on the fly. It was Gregor’s first NHL goal, in his 10th NHL game. Assists went to Dillon and Martin Jones.
The second goal of the second period came from Logan Couture at 14:42. Erik Karlsson sent a shot right down the slot. First it hit Barclay Goodrow’s stick, then Logan Couture’s right on the edge of the paint. Goodrow and Karlsson got the assists.
The Kings out-shot the Sharks 13-9 in the second period.
At 12:54 of the third, Antti Suomela collided with Kurtis MacDermid and had to leave the game. MacDermid was given a match penalty but after an official review that was downgraded to a minor interference penalty.
The Kings broke Martin Jones’ shutout bid with a couple of minutes left in the game. Matt Luff found Kyle Clifford in the slot with a pass from the boards. Clifford sent it in without hesitation and it went right by Jones.
The Kings out-shot the Sharks 11-8 in the third period. the Kings won 54% of the face-offs in the game.
The Sharks next play on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona against the Coyotes at 5:00 PM PT.