Kopitar and Kings get back on track in 3-0 win over Sharks

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LOS ANGELES — – Anze Kopitar scored on the power play, Cal Petersen made 29 saves and the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0 on Thursday night.

Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe each scored a goal, Sean Durzi had two assists and the Kings avoided being swept in the four-game series against the Sharks.

“They’ve kind of had our number for the last two years here,” Petersen said. “For some reason every game we play it’s a great team and it’s a dogfight for 60 minutes and that’s what makes a great rivalry. But glad we were able to win this round .”

James Reimer allowed two goals on 26 shots, and the Sharks saw off their four-game point streak. San Jose was called for six penalties, a season high.

“Every time we had a few shifts and a little fluidity in our game, we got another penalty,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “The whole second half, I think I felt like I played against the same six strikers the whole period, but we were killing so much.”

Kopitar ended a 10-game drought by scoring on a wrist shot in traffic at 6:57 of the second period. It was only his second goal in the last 18 games, and it was obvious the frustration had been building for the normally measured Kings captain after he tried to break his stick after missing a shorthanded chance against the Colorado on Tuesday and threw a water bottle. in the tunnel when the Avalanche scored on the power play at the other end in a 3-0 loss.

“It’s always in your head, and I don’t think I’ve experienced a struggle like this before,” said Kopitar, who had reached a career-high six games without scoring a point. “It’s good to get out of the schneid, and more importantly, it’s good to win a game and move on.”

Kopitar’s sixth power-play goal also brought greater relief to a special teams group that had been nearly invisible for the previous 10 games. Los Angeles had been in a 2-for-17 funk, often struggling to get the puck cleanly into the offensive zone.

For San Jose, it ended a surprisingly big streak of shorthanded dominance. The Sharks had run at a clip of 96.2% (51 for 53) in their previous 17 games.

“The goal they scored, I mean, it will happen once in a while, but it’s not even a chance to score. … They’re the ones who have to stay out of your net, but it’s been our spine all year and the special teams helped us get quite a few points this year,” Boughner said.

Danault made it 2-0 late in the second, hitting on the rebound of Durzi’s shot from the blue line. Danault’s second line and Trevor Moore, who had the secondary assist, had led the scoring for the Kings while Kopitar and company struggled, but those two each ended a three-game losing streak. contribute a point.

Kempe added an empty net with 2:57 left in the third, his first in 11 games.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

Sharks F Tomas Hertl had two shorthanded chances, but his shot and follow through late in the second was stopped by Petersen, and Danault had to pick up a penalty in the third to break up the other.

Timo Meier looked set to make it 2-1 with five minutes remaining, but Durzi fired the shot halfway before he could.

“Lucky for them, unlucky for me, but sometimes that rebound doesn’t work for you and you have to work even harder to get it, and I think we didn’t do that as a team today,” Meier said. .

HAPPY TO SEE YOU AGAIN

Kings D Alex Edler returned after missing 36 games with a broken ankle and was plus-1 in 12:59. Edler was the only Los Angeles defender to play on opening night available against San Jose.

Game Notes
Kopitar (60) passed Marcel Dionne (59) for second place in game-winning goals for the Kings. … Danault is 18 goals with 21 games to play after never scoring more than 13 goals in his first seven seasons. … It was Durzi’s fourth multipoint game. … Sharks F Noah Gregor played his 100th career game. He is the fifth player from the 2016 draft class selected in the third round or later to reach the century mark.

FOLLOWING

Sharks: Colorado hosts Friday night.

Kings: In Vegas on Saturday.

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