The Sharks (78-1-0) travelled to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to take on the Kings for their fifth meeting of the season. The Sharks were 4-0-0 against the Kings this season entering the contest, and Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) and Roman Cechmanek (LA) started in goal for their respective teams.
Brad Stuart (SJ) opened the scoring early on a one-timer backhand goal on an assist from Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead after a flurry of shots by the Kings on Evgeni Nabokov (SJ). Cechmanek later robbed Teemu Selanne (SJ) of a backhand attempt on a breakaway to keep the score 1-0. Scott Thornton (SJ) then took a hooking penalty to give the Kings a powerplay and a chance to tie the game. However, midway through the powerplay Lubomir Visnovsky (LA) took an interference penalty that was eventually cashed in on by Teemu Selanne (SJ) on a one-timer that was assisted by Scott Thornton (SJ) immediately after he exited the penalty box. Patrick Marleau (SJ) won the ensuing faceoff to Kyle McLaren (SJ) whose pass to Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) allowed him to break into the Kings zone alone and score to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead heading into the 2nd period. All of this came despite the Kings outshooting the Sharks 14-8 in the 1st period.
Dan McGillis (SJ) started the 2nd period by taking a roughing penalty on Aaron Miller (LA). The Sharks killed off the majority of the penalty until Jaroslav Modry (LA) took an elbowing penalty against Teemu Selanne (SJ) to give San Jose an eventual powerplay. Dan McGillis (SJ) proceeded to leave the penalty box an join the Sharks' rush, stealing an errant pass from Roman Cechmanek and providing a shot that lead to a rebound for Vincent Damphousse (SJ) to score a powerplay goal. Cechmanek (LA) was pulled after giving up his fourth goal against in the game. Jason Allison (LA) then took a hooking penalty against Mike Ricci (SJ) to give the Kings another penalty kill, but it was short-lived as Rob Davison (SJ) was called for roughing against Jozef Stumpel (LA).
The Sharks eventually killed the penalty, and Scott Hannan (SJ) and Aaron Miller (LA) engaged in a spirited bout that saw Hannan eventually score the K.O. The parade of penalties continued with Alexander Korolyuk (SJ) being called for obstruction hooking, but the Kings were unable to capitalize on the subsequent powerplay. Cristobal Huet (LA) proved up to the task, as he did not allow the Sharks a single goal in the 2nd period. The Kings were still outshooting the Sharks going into the 3rd period, 24-22, but were 0/4 on powerplay chances, while the Sharks converted on 2/3 powerplays.
The 3rd period saw Jason Allison (LA) break in down the right wing side and snap a wrist shot past Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) to give the Kings their first goal of the contest. However, the celebration was short-lived, as Mattias Norstrom (LA) received a penalty for hooking and on the ensuing faceoff Vincent Damphousse (SJ) scored on a rebound to extend the Sharks' lead to 5-1.
Scott Thornton (SJ) then took yet another Sharks penalty for roughing, but again the Sharks managed to kill the penalty with strong defense and solid goaltending by Evgeni Nabokov. The Kings release shot after shot on goal after the powerplay, but Nabokov remained up to the task. Mike Rathje (SJ) then took a hooking penalty to give the Kings another powerplay, which they again failed to capitalize on, even givving up a clear cut breakaway to Teemu Selanne (SJ), which Cristobal Huet was able to barely stop with his right pad. Neither team would score again.
The Kings outshot the Sharks 38-30, but the Sharks converted on 3/4 powerplays while the Kings were 0/6. The following players were named the three stars of the game:
3) Teemu Selanne (SJ) registered 1 goal, 1 assist and +0
2) Vincent Damphousse (SJ) registered 2 goals, 0 assists and +0
1) Evgeni Nabokov (SJ) registered 37 saves on 38 shots against (97%)
San Jose Sharks 5
Los Angeles Kings 1
The Sharks will next head back to the Shark Tank to face the Vancouver Canucks, whom the Sharks are 4-0-0 against this season. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on Monday, June 1st at 7:00PM Pacific Standard Time.