Categories: NHL

Sharks build 2-0 series lead against Kings

LOS ANGELES — Captain Joe Pavelski scored his third goal in two games, Martin Jones made 27 saves and the San Jose Sharks took a 2-0 series lead on the Los Angeles Kings with a 2-1 victory in Game 2 on Saturday night.

Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who largely dominated their California rivals in their second straight road victory.

Jones made several key stops against his former Los Angeles teammates and hung on after losing his shutout bid on Vincent Lecavalier’s power-play goal with 5:01 to play.

Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots while losing to his former backup again.

Neither team has forgotten the Kings lost the first three games of their first-round series with San Jose in 2014, only to win four straight.

Game 3 is Monday night at the Shark Tank.

This is familiar territory: The Sharks went up 3-0 on Los Angeles in the first round in 2014, only to become the fourth team in NHL history to blow that lead when the Kings roared back.

While the Sharks’ core is largely the same, the addition of several complementary players and coach Peter DeBoer suggest things could be different this year.

The Sharks led the NHL with 28 road victories this season, and they’ve snagged two more at Staples Center. But now they’ve got to go back to San Jose, where they were a sub-.500 team.

Pavelski was dominant in the series opener, scoring on the Sharks’ first shot before adding the go-ahead goal early in the third period. He scored on the Sharks’ first shot again in Game 2, slipping it through traffic past Quick, his U.S. Olympic teammate.

When Los Angeles took simultaneous penalties in the second period, Couture scored during 5-on-3 play after Quick got far out of position.

The Kings struggled for offense despite a boost from the return of Marian Gaborik, who missed the past two months with a knee injury. Top goal-scorer Tyler Toffoli was shut out again, and top scorer Anze Kopitar made little impact as the Sharks largely confined the Kings to the perimeter of the ice.

Lecavalier finally ended the Kings’ 77:41 scoreless stretch with a rebound goal, but they couldn’t equalize with Quick pulled in the final seconds.

Gaborik had missed 29 straight games since Feb. 12, but he returned to the Kings’ starting lineup for Game 2. The Slovak scorer had a phenomenal postseason in 2014, contributing 14 goals on the way to his first Stanley Cup title.

Associated Press
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