– Three Los Angeles King goals in the first period effectively
ended the opportunity for the San Jose Sharks to add to their
eight-game winning streak Monday night at sold-out HP Pavilion.
SAN JOSE – Three Los Angeles King goals in the first period effectively ended the opportunity for the San Jose Sharks to add to their eight-game winning streak Monday night at sold-out HP Pavilion.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty assisted on three goals in a span of 3:25 of the first period, pacing Los Angeles to a 6-2 victory over San Jose.
Doughty, the second-overall pick of the Kings in the 2008 Entry Draft (after Tampa Bay selected Steve Stamkos), finished with a personal-best four assists.
The Sharks host St. Louis Wednesday and Detroit Saturday to complete the homestand.
Los Angeles, eight points off the pace set by San Jose atop the Pacific Division, went 4-5 over the past nine contests, including seven on the road. The Kings begin a seven-game homestand Thursday opposite Detroit.
Los Angeles had a good scoring chance 8:30 into the first period. Wayne Simmonds’ shot from 15 feet out was kicked aside by goalie Evgeni Nabokov. As the netminder hustled to stand up, San Jose’s Rob Blake slid into the crease and booted the puck aside before an approaching Scott Parse could tap in the point-blank offering.
While the team’s sixth shot was unsuccessful, Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead on its seventh shot.
Doughty, the 20-year-old named to the Canadian Olympic team last week, whipped the puck to defensive partner Rob Scuderi on the left boards. Scuderi roped a pass to Michal Handzus behind the Sharks net, Handzus quickly completing a wrap-around just as Nabokov moved to the far post at 15:37.
San Jose gave up two power play goals to the Kings by the close of the period.
Joe Thornton earned a slashing penalty at 16:49. At 18:29, Oscar Moller slapped a 20-footer past Nabokov from the inside edge of the right circle.
Patrick Marleau was whistled for throwing his stick as Moller made it 2-0. The Kings needed 33 seconds to take the 3-0 lead when Anze Kopitar drilled a 15-footer into an open net for his team-leading 17th goal.
The Kings used a 12-second span in the second period to stretch their advantage to 5-0.
Doughty kept a scoring play alive when he knocked down a clearing attempt before sliding the puck to Kopitar during a power play. The Kings winger lined a hard shot toward the net that Ryan Smyth redirected over Nabokov at 16:30 for a 4-0 cushion.
Los Angeles turned a face-off win into a rush to the net that ended with Simmonds drilling home his 10th goal of the year off a pass from Brad Richardson at 16:42.
Thomas Greiss handled the goaltending in the third period for San Jose. Scott Parse took advantage of a Blake turnover deep in the San Jose zone to score the team’s sixth goal 13 seconds into the third.
San Jose, set to play in Los Angeles on Jan 11 and 19 to complete the six-game series, ended goalie Jonathan Quick’s shut-out bid 3:21 into the third period. Douglas Murray stroked his third goal of the campaign from the blueline, off assists from Scott Nichol and Jed Ortmeyer.
NOTES: Thornton’s assist gave his 900 NHL points…Jody Shelley played in his 500th NHL game…San Jose set a season high for shots on net with 47. The previous high was 46 against Colorado on Oct. 30… Coincidentally, Los Angeles finished with 20 shots on net, tying the season mark for fewest shots faced by the Sharks.