Tuesday, January 28
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Anze Kopitar broke a long scoreless drought for Los Angeles and Jonathan Quick earned his third shutout of the season to help the Kings snap a five-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
Kopitar's goal late in the second period ended a stretch of more than 154 minutes without a score for the Kings, who avoided their first six-game skid since December 2007. They did it with defense as Quick needed to make only 23 saves, stopping a flurry in the final seconds to seal the win.
The game ended a streak of 15 straight games between the California rivals that were won by the home team, including all seven contests in last year's second-round playoff series won by the Kings. Los Angeles had dropped nine straight in San Jose since winning Game 5 of a first-round series in 2011 and had not won a regular season game here since Dec. 27, 2010.
Alex Stalock made 20 saves for the Sharks, who had won six straight games. But he got little offensive help as San Jose got just nine shots the first two periods and came up empty on three power plays to lose at home in regulation for just the third time all season.
The Kings broke their scoreless drought late in the second period on a nifty move by Kopitar. Brent Burns deflected a pass from Jeff Carter to a streaking Kopitar. But Kopitar still managed to gather it and stopped just outside the crease to make Stalock commit before tucking it into the net to give Los Angeles the lead with 2:05 remaining in the second period.
The goal was the first for Los Angeles since Kopitar scored early in the first period of a 2-1 loss at Anaheim last Thursday night, ending a scoreless stretch of 154:43. It also ended Stalock's franchise-record scoreless streak at 178:55 for San Jose.
The Sharks, limited to seven shots at that point, generated more pressure after falling behind with Quick making a good save against Bracken Kearns and San Jose drawing a late penalty against Willie Mitchell. But the Kings killed off that penalty that carried over into the third period.
They negated another power play when Joe Thornton was called for hooking 16 seconds into Slava Voynov's cross-checking penalty and then got a strong save from Quick against Joe Pavelski midway through the third to preserve the lead.
It was a typical tight defensive start to the game between two of the league's stingiest teams with a combined 12 shots in a scoreless first period.
While the Sharks had a season-low four shots in the period, they did have the best scoring chance when Quick made a sprawling glove save to rob Kearns on the backhand early with most of the net open.
The Kings had two good chances late with Stalock stopping Kopitar alone in front with a shoulder save and Mike Richards hitting the post on a one-timer in the closing seconds.
NOTES: The Sharks lost their second 1-0 home game this month, falling to Boston on Jan. 11. ... Stalock broke the record held by Evgeni Nabokov, who went 171:18 without allowing a goal in January 2009. ... Kings captain Dustin Brown was booed all night in his first game against San Jose since injuring rookie Tomas Hertl with a knee-on-knee collision last month.