On a night where it might have been a good idea for the San Jose Sharks to get some points toward a playoff spot against a division opponent pining for the same thing, they instead fell hard to the Los Angeles Kings, losing 5-2 on Tuesday.
Contrary to the score, the game was actually close for the first half, much like the night before for the Sharks. Mike Richards opened up the scoring, giving the Kings the lead on a shorthanded goal. Twenty-two seconds later, Martin Havlat continued his impact on the Sharks' offense, knotting the score at one on the power play.
The only scoring in the second period came from Anze Kopitar's pass from behind the net to Alec Martinez, but in the third, L.A. went on to score three more times. Kopitar would get a goal of his own on the power play, followed by a Sharks turnover in neutral zone that led to an easy Dustin Penner goal. The Kings' final goal of the night came from Jeff Carter on the empty net. San Jose's only other score involved some quick puck movement started by Havlat and Logan Couture and finished by Dan Boyle.
While it's pretty easy to say a lot went wrong for the Sharks, including a bit of penalty trouble, Antti Niemi having a second straight bad game and the team being outshot again, the Kings did a lot of things well to earn the two points. From the get-go, Kopitar was finding his spots in the offensive zone and was moving his legs to get in position to create offense. He was rewarded with a three-point night. Richards also found himself a three-point night after doing the same.
It also helped that Jonathan Quick, playing in his 241st career game after three games of rest, did his job, stopping 20 shots on the night.
In the ever-changing playoff standings, L.A. now finds itself in eighth place in the West ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes, who lost in the shootout to the Dallas Stars. The Sharks have fallen to tenth with the loss.