While frigid temperatures kept millions of Americans inside on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks took the ice at a balmy Levi's Stadium for California's first outdoor NHL contest. And, as is often the case when these two teams square off under the national spotlight, LA came out on top.
A Marian Gaborik goal 4:04 into the third period gave the Kings a 2-1 lead, one they would not relinquish. Gaborik created a turnover in the neutral zone, skated up to the top of the left circle and fired a slap shot past Antti Niemi for what would become the game-winning tally.
The Sharks made a last-second push with an empty net, but with Jonathan Quick in top form, it was to no avail.
Quick saved 31 of 32 shots -- including 15 in the second -- en route to his 24th victory of 2014-15. This marks his fourth straight appearance in which he surrendered two or less goals -- quite a change from the lengthy slump he endured earlier in the year.
Brent Burns was the only Shark to beat Quick all evening. Fresh off his second All-Star Game selection, the 29-year-old defenseman lit the lamp with 1:04 remaining in the first stanza to tie things up at one on an extremely low-percentage attempt.
Not Quick's finest moment.
Burns' mark came about 16 minutes after the Kings opened up the scoring, when Kyle Clifford deflected a Jake Muzzin shot past Niemi 2:46 after the initial puck drop.
San Jose had three crucial opportunities on the man advantage -- two in the second, one in the third -- but LA's stout penalty kill prevented the Sharks from converting on the power play. The Kings have now killed nine straight penalties and 17 of 19 in February.
In total, 70,205 fans packed the San Francisco 49ers' new home for this Stadium Series affair, making it the third highest attended game in league history.