They converted two of three power-play opportunities in a 3-2 victory over San Jose on Monday night, while stopping all four man-advantage situations by the team with the league’s best power-play percentage. Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal with 3:10 left in the third period while Steve Bernier of the Sharks was serving a holding-the-stick penalty.
Alexander Frolov had two goals and an assist, and Lubomir Visnovski had a goal and an assist to help the Kings win for only the fourth time in their last 17 games.
“They did a great job on the penalty kill,” Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo said. “Anytime you make a team all the way back to their own end, it’s going to tire the power play unit out. When you spend a lot of time in your end, it’s going to cost you some goals.”
Milan Michalek and Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks, who were playing at Staples Center for the second time in five nights after beating the Kings 7-3 last Thursday.
“When they have the puck, they’re one of the best teams in the league, so you want to take them out of their offence as much as possible,” Kings defenceman Rob Blake said. “It was a great effort. That’s a great team over there, so you have to have that effort. We didn’t have it against them a couple of nights ago, but tonight we battled and got some bounces to go our way.”
The Sharks were outshot 34-18, two nights after overcoming a 39-18 shot differential in a 2-1 victory at Phoenix.
“We’ve been getting outshot 2-1, and it’s only a matter of time before that catches up to us,” coach Ron Wilson said. “We were awful in Phoenix and we got away with it. We weren’t much better tonight. I’m disappointed, but I’m glad that happened to us. It gives me an opportunity for lots of teaching points.”
Brown got a cross-ice pass from rookie Anze Kopitar and beat Vesa Toskala to the stick side from short range for his third goal of the season, 37 seconds after referee Mick McGeough sent Bernier to the penalty box. Toskala came in 4-0 lifetime against the Kings with a 2.00 goals-against average.
Frolov scored into an empty net with 23 seconds to play.
Thornton, who won his first NHL scoring title last season with 125 points, snapped a 1-1 tie just 47 seconds into the third period when he beat Dan Cloutier between the legs with a 10-foot wrist shot from a sharp angle to the right of the net for his fourth goal.
The Kings tied it on a power play with 15:58 left in regulation. Visnovsky beat Toskala on a screened 55-foot slap shot while rookie defenceman Matt Carle was serving a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass.
“We did quite a bit wrong tonight. We weren’t making the little plays that we should have, and it ultimately cost us in the end,” Cheechoo said. “A little thing like getting the puck in deep, it’s going to make them get go back and get it. Then you can put some pressure on them and cause some turnovers in their end. But they did a good job in the neutral zone and we just never adjusted.”
The Sharks recorded only one shot on net during the first 14 1/2 minutes – but they made it count. Michalek shrugged off a check by Visnovsky along the right boards, carried the puck through the right circle and beat Cloutier to the short side at the 9:51 mark.
Los Angeles tied it just 41 seconds before the first intermission. Toskala stopped Visnovsky’s slap shot from the left point, but the rebound caromed off Kings forward Sean Avery lying in front of the crease and Frolov banged home the loose puck for his seventh goal.
Notes: Luc Robitaille, who retired last April as the Kings’ all-time goal scoring leader and the highest-scoring left wing in NHL history, was named Monday as Assistant to the Governor and Alternate Governor for the club. Robitaille’s No. 20 will be retired on Jan. 20. … San Jose G Evgeni Nabokov, who missed the final 52 minutes of Saturday’s game at Phoenix with a stiff neck after taking a hit from Coyotes C Mike Zigomanis, is expected to make his next start on Wednesday at Colorado. The Sharks have been alternating starting goaltenders all season. … San Jose has allowed more than three goals only three times in its last 14 games.