Who would’ve guessed that a one-goal third period would be the difference in this one?
The first goal was struck after only 2:53, courtesy of Jake Muzzin on a tip-in, assisted by Second Star of the Game Milan Lucic and Tanner Pearson. After collecting a deflected shot, Lucic was taking the puck behind the net, put a puck into the exposed crease for Muzzin to send home. Anze Kopitar quickly followed that tally with a trip to the box for interference with 14:14 remaining in the first, which First Star Joe Pavelski capitalized on with a slap shot to level the game.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the remaining 13:35, and the game leveled out in that time. Neither team managed more than eight shots fired (Los Angeles only fired the puck five times), which was further improved by the Sharks‘ five blocks.
The second period was one of power plays, with five being awarded, and three of those penalties against San Jose. Brent Burns gave San Jose a one-goal lead at the 6:50 mark with a long range slap shot from the face off dot assisted by Third Star Joel Ward, who followed the play by interfering with Dustin Brown. The lead lasted only 40 seconds before Jeff Carter scored on the ensuing power play. Muzzin committed a hooking penalty 2:17 after Carter’s goal, giving the Sharks a power play, which they almost capitalized on, but they were hurt by an iffy no-call on a potential Alec Martinez trip on the San Jose shooter. Trevor Lewis gave the Kings their second lead of the night at the 17:18 mark on a stunning shorthanded roofer of a slap shot, but it lasted only half a minute before Tomas Hertl returned the favor at the completion of Drew Doughty serving his time for hooking Ward. After all the action, which also included tons of hits, the second period ended three-all.
Only 17 seconds after returning to the ice, Pavelski connected on a wraparound for his second of the night. Los Angeles certainly upped their pressure in the remaining time, but Martin Jones stood tall to earn the 4-3 victory.
Jones made 21 saves on 24 shots faced (87.5%), while Jonathan Quick takes the loss, saving 19 of 23 (82.6%).
These squads will meet again Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. eastern, which can be viewed on NBCSN, CBC and TVAS.