After seemingly turning things around, the
Sharks now find themselves having lost 3 straight games, including a lackluster
4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night at SAP Center. The Sharks
returned home to face the Kings in the 1st of 4 meetings between the divisional
foes this season. The Kings smothered the Sharks offense all night, holding the
Sharks to 15 shots in the contest.
It was another step backwards for a
team groping in the dark to find its identity. It was a tall order given the
Kings road record this season, but it was still a home game that San Jose was
simply uncompetitive. They recorded single digit shot counts in all three
periods, and were only able to get a puck past Kings prospect goaltender David
Rittich with a 2-man advantage in the final 2 minutes of a game that had been
Rittich was recalled by the Kings after Phoenix Copley
was injured on Friday night.
Los Angeles picked the perfect opponent
allow their farmhand to cut his teeth on. It was like watching a pod of Killer
Whales teaching a pup how to hunt a wounded seal.
The seal didn't put
up much of a fight.
Both teams traded quality scoring chances in the
first 10 minutes of the game. Phillip Danault missed from the doorstep around
the 5 minute mark, but Sharks goaltender Kappo Kahkonen denied him with a kick
save. David Rittich matched Kahkonen's leg work by stuffing Mario Ferraro with
his own nifty kick save at the midway mark.
a high sticking penalty to
Kyle Burroughs setup the game's first goal. Anze Kopitar squeezed a shot
between the left post and Kahkonen for the power play goal at 17:46. The Kings
had worked the puck to the right side, drawing Kahkonen to cover that side of
the net. The shot attempt kicked off the end boards where Arthur Kaliyev
collected it and fed Kopitar on the left side.
La threw a one-two
punch at the Sharks early in the 2nd period to extended their lead. Trevor
Moore whipped a shot from the top of the left circle at 4:07 after the Kings
pushed the puck up the right side. Kevin Fiala peeled the puck off the side
boards then sent a pass to Moore just as he was crossing the blue line.
Alex Laferriere redirected a Kopitar shot 70 seconds later that
squeezed between Kahkonen and the left post. Laperriere had his back to the
Sharks net but he was able to get his stick blade out to his right, clipping
the puck enough to score by threading the needle through the small space that
San Jose had a pair of opportunities to fight their
way back into the game after Kaliyev and Danault took penalties 3 minutes
apart. San Jose would generate a paltry 4 shots during the 4 minutes of man
advantage time. The wasted chances were magnified by the lack of any quality
chances during the two power play opportunities.
San Jose came within
a whisker of scoring early in the 3rd period when a pile up in the crease ended
with Mikey Anderson sweeping the puck off the goal line with his glove hand.
The Sharks pulled Kahkonen at 2:47 after Drew Doughty was called for
tripping. Skating with the 6-on-4 advantage, the Sharks promptly coughed up the
puck when Anthony Duclair's pass attempt was intercepted and Trevor Lewis sent
it the length of the rink for his 4th goal of the season.
MacDonald would convert when the Sharks figured out to retain possession of the
puck, but his 5th of the season was too little, tool late. Game
* Calen Addison was scratched for what is being described as
a lower body issue. Defenseman Jan Rutta was also scratched as he is dealing
with an illness.
* Logan Couture told reporters that he will likely
participate in full practice on Thursday. Couture has missed all 32 games for
San Jose this season as he deals with a lower body issue.
Studnicka made his SAP Center debut and was limited to 14 shifts, skating on
the 4th line with Filip Zadina and Kevin Labanc. Studnicka was one of 7 skaters
who were not on the ice for a non-power play goal by the Kings.
Jose continues to struggle in the faceoff circle. They were 22-for-52 (42%) on
draws. Nico Sturm's absence has really been evident when it comes to draws.
* Jacob MacDonald's late goal prevented the Sharks from being shutout
for the 6th time this season.