The San Jose Sharks won 4-3 over the Los Angeles Kings Thursday for their first win in five games. Logan Couture scored twice for the Sharks, including the game-winner just 27 seconds into the third period.
Brent Burns opened up the scoring midway through the first period, giving the Sharks the early lead. Goaltender Antti Niemi made 16 saves in the first to keep the score at 1-0.
The Sharks added two powerplay goals nearly a minute a part of each other early in the second period to take a 3-0 lead and force the Kings to relieve Jonathan Quick in net. Jonathan Bernier came into the game and gave the Kings a chance to comeback.
Dustin Brown scored the Kings first goal a little over a minute after Bernier entered the game, making it 3-1 Sharks going into the third period. Couture’s goal to start the third ended up being much more important than expected as the Kings rallied late.
Brown scored his second of the game to bring the Kings within two late in the third period. Dwight King followed up quickly, lighting the lamp with just over three minutes left in the game.
It wasn’t enough as Antti Niemi and the Sharks held off the Kings in the final minutes for a much needed victory. Logan Couture led all scorers with two goals and an assist, but recognized the defending Stanley Cup Champions for their run in the third period.
“They brought it in the third period there,” Couture said after the game. “We we’re on our heels a little bit, but thankfully we were able to hold on.”
Brent Burns finished with a goal and an assist for the Sharks while captain Joe Thornton added an assist in the win. The Sharks are currently holding onto the seventh spot in the Western Conference, and will need to pick up the pace if they plan on staying there. The Coyotes, Red Wings, and Predators are all within two points of San Jose.
The Kings have now lost two straight games and face the Sharks again on Saturday. The two teams are tied for second in the Pacific Division with 30 points, and will play each other three more times before the playoffs. The Sharks win Thursday could be the turning point in their run for the NHL playoffs, ending a four game skid in a key match-up against their California rivals.