San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton (21), goaltender Adin Hill (33), left wing Jeffrey Viel (63) and defenseman Brent Burns (88) celebrate a shutout victory over the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Mar 12, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks shutout the Los Angeles Kings 5-0 Saturday night in San Jose. Five goals again? The Kings must be having nightmares about the Sharks and five-goal games. This time, those five were not all scored by Timo Meier. Meier did score one, as did Matt Nieto and Jonathan Dahlen. Tomas Hertl scored two. Adin Hill made 29 saves for the shutout win, his first start in six weeks. Cal Petersen made 22 saves for the Kings.
After the game, Sharks goaltender Adin Hill said: “It felt pretty good. I mean, the guys did a hell of a job in front of me tonight and kept chances to a minimum and boxed guys out and made my job simple.”
Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the difference it makes to have “full time” players back in the lineup:
“It’s nice, we’re just rolling our bench, we get contributions from every line, and, you know, can spread ice time out. And we’re staying out of the penalty box, that’s a big difference. Tommy Hertl and [Couture] and those guys aren’t playing those heavy heavy minutes and that makes a big difference for their offense.”
Timo Meier scored at 9:19, on the power play. Brent Burns made a pass from below the goal line, through the traffic in front of the net, to Meier up in the slot. Assists went to Burns and Nick Bonino.
Matt Nieto made it 2-0 at 11:55. Bonino got to the puck behind the net, then made a reverse pass off the back of the net to Nieto by the post. Petersen was caught off guard by the change of direction and Nieto was able to put the puck over his pad for his fifth of the season.
Jonathan Dahlen scored at 19:11. Timo Meier stole the puck along the boards and centered it quickly for Dahlen in the slot.
Each team had a power play in the first period. The Sharks scored with their first shot on the power play. Their penalty kill allowed three shots to the Kings. The shot count for the period was 15-11 Kings.
Hertl scored his first goal of the night on the power play at 8:05 of the second. Timo Meier took a shot from above the circle, it went off the post, then bounced off of Logan Couture and back across the blue paint to the other side of the net. Hertl was there to put it away. Assists went to Couture and Meier.
The Sharks had a goal waved off for goaltender interference at 14:38. The initial shot came from Scott Reedy but it wasn’t clear who last touched the puck as it bounced around in a pile of bodies at the crease.
The Sharks had the only power play in the second period, and again scored on their first shot. The shot count for the period was 12-8.
Hertl scored his second at 15:04 of the third period. Alexander Barabanov played the puck off the skate of Rudolfs Balcers so that it went through the blue paint to where Hertl was on hand to put it over the line. Assists went to Balcers and Barabanov.
In the third period there were three penalties called, two that resulted in four-on-four play and one that came with just three seconds left. The shot count for the period was 6-4 Kings. In the face-off circle, the Sharks dominated the first period with 63% of the wins, but they dropped down to 31% and 33% in the second and third periods for a game total of 45%.
The Sharks will host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday at 7:30 PM PT.