Los Angeles Kings center Jaret Anderson-Dolan, left, takes a shot for not on San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 2, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks went to Los Angeles and beat the Kings 3-0 Friday. Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Rudolfs Balcers scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 30 saves for the shutout win. Calvin Petersen made 33 saves for the Kings in the loss. The win is the third in a row for the Sharks. Three was a good number for the Sharks Friday.
Hertl, Meier and Balcers were skating on the same line. Meier had eight shots in the game and scored his first goal after a nine game dry spell. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “From what we see tonight, if he’s playing that way, and he’s that confident, he can be dangerous. It was good to see. I think that whole line, Tommy Hertl, Rudy’s playing great hockey. Those guys were a force tonight.”
Of Martin Jones, Boughner said:
“He looks calm in there, you know, he’s making the right saves at the right time. He’s allowing us to get that second goal and keep it 1-0 instead of 1-1 and the game completely changes. And, you know, he’s been one of our better players now for the past three weeks.”
The Sharks took an early lead when Tomas Hertl tipped Nikolai Knyzhov’s shot from the point. Assists went to Knyzhov and Rudolfs Balcers. The time of the goal was 2:57.
There was just one penalty in the first period, to Anze Kopitar for tripping. The Sharks power play got credit for two shots on goal. The Sharks outshot the Kings 9-7 in the first.
Timo Meier made it 2-0 for the Sharks nine minutes into the second period. Tomas Hertl’s pass from behind the net landed just right on Meier’s stick for a one-timer. Assists went to Hertl and Balcers.
The Kings challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Balcers pushed Kings defenseman Drew Doughty into the crease and Doughty fell on Calvin Petersen. A second or two passed after that contact and the play moved around the net before the goal was scored. The challenge was unsuccessful.
While the teams were waiting for that to be resolved, referee Pierre Lambert was escorted from the ice, looking unsteady. He had been hit by a puck.
The second period saw two penalties to each team. The Sharks penalty kill gave up two shots and their power play took three. The shot count was 14-13 Kings.
At 7:59, Dylan Gambrell put the puck in the net with a nice shot down the middle. It was called back, however, when the Kings successfully challenged for offside.
The Kings pulled their goaltender with more than two minutes left. The Sharks took several shots at that empty net but it was Balcers with the fourth good look who hit it at 19:33. An assist went to Brent Burns, who was using Balcers’ stick. After Burns’ stick broke, Balcers gave him his and had just gone to get another when the puck came to him for the shot.
The third period was penalty-free and the sharks outshot the Kings 14-9. The Kings won the face-off battle in the game, winning 55% of the draws.
The Sharks next play on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT, again in Los Angeles against the Kings.