Kings at Sharks: Fighting for Best in the Pacific
Kings games versus the Sharks are consistently amazing these days. As is recent tradition, the home team won, but fans got to watch an awesomely stressful and entertaining game throughout.
It started with the best of times:
Just as the “Beat LA!” chants were ringing through the shark tank, Jeff Carter catches a great pass from Dwight King and pots a goal 18 seconds into play.
That’s Carter’s second point in his second game back, because he’s a goddamn prince. I was highly enjoying Tyler Toffoli as Mike Richards’ right wing the last few weeks, but Carter has quickly reminded me why it’s so difficult to deny 10/77.
The Fourth Period’s Dennis Bernstein said it best during the Canucks game:
4 on 4 work shows there's only one RW for Mike Richards on LA. #77
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) November 26, 2013
Preach it, bud. Preach it.
The Kings played solidly through the first half of the period, but they let the momentum get away from them in the latter half. By the end of 20 minutes, the Sharks had 18 shots to the Kings’ eight, but goaltender Ben Scrivens helped his team escape with that 1-0 lead.
I don’t know what was said in the locker room during intermission, but I assume it was something like, “Wanna get weird?”
Instead of having a totally abysmal second period, the Kings flipped the shots around. They got 17 shots through to Antti Niemi while the Sharks challenged Scrivens only seven times. Part of this was due to drilling the offensive zone in the final two minutes of a four-minute power play after a Sharks player made Justin Williams bleed from his mouth in an attractive but useful (to LA) way.
The Kings weren’t able to score on any of those chances, which sounds about right. Instead, the Sharks got two goals out of their seven shots on goal. The first came from a communication breakdown in front of the net that was about as embarrassing as Logan Couture tweeting out that porn link last year.
The puck found its way near the net. Jake Muzzin swiped at it, but then he assumed Drew Doughty or Kyle Clifford would get it, because, hey, they were right there, too. THEY DEFINITELY DIDN’T GET IT. You know who took the opportunity? Joe Pavelski. He used it to score a goal. The game was 1-1.
Misfortune continued when Sharks were credited with the go-ahead goal thanks to a puck that bounced between Scrivens’ skates and into the net. Prime Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier form!!
Don't forget that Ben Scrivens' middle name is John. RT @nickaresee: Was that Jonathan Quick or Jonathan Bernier?
— THX BUD (@thxbud) November 28, 2013
How lame. “This better not ruin the Kings’ dumbmazing point streak!” I shouted to my brother, who didn’t care. (Sorry for being the kind of human being who mashes words like “dumb” and “amazing” together. Deal with it.)
Scrivens proved that that own-goal wasn’t throwing him off his game early in the third, though. He made a real dramatic glove save that upset a lot of people in the SAP Center.
It reminded me of another dramatic glove save.
So, obviously I liked it and replayed it twenty times in a row on the DVR before I could rejoin the live game. I figured I had time since the Kings probably weren’t going to score.
But lo! Six minutes into the third, Doughty burst forth from a flock of players, carrying a pass from the Professor himself and scored a tying goal. Ben Scrivens now had more points than Trevor Lewis. What Scrivens accidentally taketh away, he giveth back.
That point streak was back on!
The Kings held on until overtime, though not for a lack of trying to lose. They took three consecutive minor penalties, starting with an offensive zone penalty right after tying the game. No one was surprised.
Kings dominated OT more but didn’t manage to score. Instead of revisiting some 3-on-3 hockey, everyone was subjected to the shootout.
Shootouts are a waste to me, but this one decided to at least deliver some wow factor by going eight rounds. The thing about this shootout was that the Sharks figured out Scrivens’ weakness fast and then every Sharks players tried the exact same move. Go to the left, hold until he drops a little too high in the crease — boom, in.
“Oh, no, they’ve got me! I’ll change exactly nothing!”
The Kings went down 3-2, but it was still a fun game throughout. The San Jose versus Los Angeles rivalry is the best rivalry nobody on the east coast has ever seen. And did I mention the point streak? Yes? Well, it’s still happening!
After going 11 games with a point, this Kings team have tied the club record and could set a new one if they win against the Calgary Flames on Saturday or lose in overtime again.
On one hand, it’s the Calgary Flames. On the other hand, the Kings still love taking penalties. They’re currently 5th highest in the NHL in minor penalties, and going on the PK is how they screwed the pooch against the Flames last time. This should be the easiest record to set at this point, but it’s LA, so there’s always some suspense.