Marleau shines in win over Kings
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP)
Joe Thornton started the second-period outburst with his fourth goal and Dan Boyle capped it by scoring his first of the season with San Jose on a two-man advantage as the Sharks picked up where they left off last postseason by once again beating the Kings. Logan Couture added a third-period goal and Antti Niemi made 29 saves for San Jose.
Jack Johnson scored on a two-man advantage to give the Kings a 1-0 lead but Jonathan Quick was unable to make that hold up and Los Angeles lost its fifth straight game. Anze Kopitar also scored a power-play goal for the Kings.
This was the first meeting of the season between the two California rivals, who played a tense first-round series last spring won by San Jose in six games, including three overtime wins for the Sharks. San Jose didn't need extra time this game, doing more than enough damage in a dominant second period.
The Kings struck first just seconds into a two-man advantage. Torrey Mitchell was called for hooking with Colin White already in the box, giving Los Angeles 15 seconds with a 5-on-3 edge. The Kings didn't even need that long to score. Mike Richards beat Michal Handzus on the faceoff and the puck went to Johnson, who beat Niemi with a blast from the point.
But the Sharks picked up their play after that and scored three times during a span of less than six minutes. Thornton started it when he skated out from behind the net, did a reverse pivot and sneaked a backhand past Quick for the equalizer.
Less than a minute later, Boyle carried the puck into the offensive zone and waited for a second before feeding a driving Marleau in front of the net for a perfectly executed tip play.
The Sharks then capitalized on their own two-man advantage to take a two-goal lead late in the second. Willie Mitchell got sent off for cross checking Couture with Matt Greene already in the box. Joe Pavelski lost control of the puck in front of the net but it went straight to Boyle, who beat Quick with a blast from the slot to make it 3-1.
One game after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period against Nashville, the Sharks built on the advantage with Couture scoring on a rebound of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot midway through the period. The Kings answered with Kopitar's eighth goal but couldn't get any closer.
The teams were scoreless after the first period despite two prime chances for Los Angeles forward Dustin Penner. After the Sharks were unable to score on a scramble in front of the net, Penner got free on a breakaway but was turned aside by Niemi. Then in the final minute of the period, Niemi made a nifty glove save on a slap shot by Penner from the slot.
It was a good bounce-back performance by Niemi, who was winless with a 5.29 goals against average in his previous three starts.
Notes: Quick gave up three goals in a period for the first time since the third period of Game 4 of last season's playoff series against the Sharks. ... Thornton's goal was his 1,013th career point, tying his boyhood hero, Pat LaFontaine, for 74th place all-time. He added an assist to move into a tie for 73rd place with Calgary's Jarome Iginla.