Clowe scores late in shootout to lift Sharks
Ryane Clowe scored in the sixth round of a shootout, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped Jarret Stoll moments later to give the San Jose Sharks a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Both teams missed four of their first five chances in the shootout before Clowe beat Jonathan Quick with a backhand. Clowe hasn't scored any goals so far this season, but that shot will help make up for his slow start.
Nabokov sealed San Jose's fifth win in its last six games when he made a pad save against Stoll. The Kings had won four straight games.
The shootout went the way most of the game went, with each team struggling to score. The teams traded second-period tallies with Alexander Frolov giving Los Angeles the lead before Patrick Marleau tied it for San Jose.
Marleau got the shootout started by hitting the post. Michal Handzus then beat Nabokov to give the Kings a 1-0 edge, but Los Angeles missed its next five attempts.
Nabokov poke-checked the puck away from Jack Johnson to keep the Sharks alive before Dany Heatley tied the shootout with a wrist shot. Both goalies made saves in the fourth round, with Quick stopping Benn Ferriero and Nabokov turning aside Wayne Simmonds. Joe Thornton and Dustin Brown missed in the fifth round before Clowe finally broke through.
Nabokov made 28 saves before the shootout to earn his 23rd career win against Los Angeles, his most against any team. He made a tough stop on Ryan Smith midway through the third, when Smith one-timed a pass from behind the net by Arne Kopitar. Kopitar, the NHL's leading scorer, was held without a point for just the second time in 13 games this season.
The Sharks put heavy pressure on Quick in the closing minute of regulation, put Quick turned aside shots from Marleau, Clowe and Marc-Edouard Vlasic to force overtime. Quick made 29 saves.
After a sluggish first period with few scoring chances, the Kings struck first continuing a disturbing early season pattern for the Sharks. Frolov's wraparound goal 8 minutes into the second period marked the 10th time in 13 games this season that San Jose has allowed the first goal of the game.
The Sharks answered a few minutes later when Marleau beat Quick in transition with a shot from the circle, ending a streak of 119 minutes, 23 seconds of scoreless play at home for San Jose. The Sharks lost in a shootout to Phoenix after the team's were scoreless following overtime in their previous home game Oct. 12.
Devin Setoguchi and Ryan Vesce were scratched for the Sharks because of undisclosed lower-body injuries. ... The shootout was Los Angeles' first of the season. ... The Sharks are 1-1 in shootouts.