Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Matthew Harrington
It was a different night, but a similar result for the San Jose Sharks in a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at the SAP Center Wednesday night. Martin Jones followed up his 41 save effort with a 42-save showing and Evander Kane scored a pair of goals to give San Jose (13-14-4) the sweep of the two-game series. Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe scored for the Kings (13-13-6). The victory came with a price for San Jose though after Logan Couture took the butt end of Jeff Carter’s stick to the jaw and exited the game late in the third period.
The Sharks were leading by a slim 2-1 margin heading into the third period, but widened the chasm on the scoreboard in the first two minutes of the final frame. Evander Kane tipped a Mario Ferraro shot past Kings netminder Cal Petersen 21 seconds into the period for his 14th of the year and second of the game. Then, at the 1:43 mark Tomas Hertl beat Petersen for his ninth of the year and a 4-1 Sharks lead. Adrian Kempe scored his 12th to cut the lead at the 4:27 mark but the Kings would not beat a sharp Jones again for the remainder of the game.
Rudolfs Balcers opened the scoring 2:14 into the second after both Petersen and Jones were flawless in the first. The Latvian finished off the tic-tac-goal after Marcus Sorensen’s drive down the left wing pulled Petersen to the left. His feed cross-crease left a gaping net for Balcers, who scored in his second game back from an injury.
Kane potted his first goal of the game on a similar play off the rush, only this time he was coming down the left wing. He took the Labanc pass from the right wing and waited for Petersen to commit on the desperation push across the blue paint before beating him up top for a 2-0 Sharks lead with 6:21 left in the second.
Jones was 21 seconds away from his fourth straight game of one goal allowed, but a set play with just a couple dozen seconds left in the second led to Iaffalo’s late goal. Drew Doughty entered the Sharks zone and dropped the puck to Dustin Brown on the blue line. Brown ripped a shot from the point that Iaffalo redirected in for his eighth of the year.
The Sharks will play their fourth consecutive Friday-Saturday back-to-back when they travel to Glendale to face the Arizona Coyotes. For a quasi-weekend set. The Coyotes currently sit three points ahead of San Jose just below the cut line for the Western division’s last playoff spot.