Sharks 5, Kings 2

Raitis Ivanans came up an assist short of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. You can read about the rest in the following AP game story. The Kings can clinch a tie for last place in the NHL if Tampa beats Carolina tomorrow…

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Evgeni Nabokov made 16 saves in his NHL-best 46th victory, and the San Jose Sharks closed out their home schedule with their 18th win in 20 games, 5-2 over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

Milan Michalek scored the go-ahead goal in the second period for the Pacific Division champions, who have earned a point in every game since March 20. Mike Grier, captain Patrick Marleau, Curtis Brown and Brian Campbell also scored as the Sharks earned their 108th point, surpassing last season’s franchise record of 107 with two games to play.

Nabokov guaranteed he’ll lead the league in victories this season, moving four wins ahead of New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur. He’s also still in the running to match Brodeur’s NHL record of 48 victories last season, though coach Ron Wilson hasn’t said who will play in the Sharks’ last two games.

Patrick O’Sullivan and Raitis Ivanans scored for the Kings as the clubs began a home-and-home series between the NHL’s worst team and its second-best. Erik Ersberg stopped 29 shots for Los Angeles, which won its first three games at the Shark Tank this season – all back in November.

Nabokov, who has played in 75 of the Sharks’ 80 games, is fourth in NHL history behind Brodeur’s 48 victories and the 47 wins compiled by Philadelphia’s Bernie Parent (1973-74) – who did it before shootouts – and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo (2006-07).

Even in a one-sided win, the Sharks rested up for the playoffs by playing without forward Jonathan Cheechoo, defenseman Craig Rivet and rookie forward Devin Setoguchi, who all sat out to rest minor injuries. Wilson kept his players’ minutes fairly even, giving bigger rests than normal to Thornton and Campbell, among others.

San Jose dominated puck possession in the first period, but didn’t score until Grier put a difficult rebound shot past two defenders and Ersberg with 10.6 seconds to play. Grier, a superb defensive forward who runs the NHL’s third-best penalty-killing unit, hadn’t scored a goal since March 1.

O’Sullivan tied it with a short-handed breakaway goal early in the second, but Marleau put the Sharks back ahead 66 seconds later with his 18th goal. Ivanans, the Los Angeles enforcer who fought Jody Shelley in the first period, tied it again when Alexander Frolov’s pass caught the San Jose defense napping.

Michalek then snapped an eight-game goal-scoring drought on a pass from Joe Thornton, who picked up his NHL-leading 66th assist. Brown and Campbell added late goals, with Campbell scoring during a two-man advantage with 1:01 to play.

Notes: Los Angeles LW Kyle Calder missed his fifth straight game with a finger injury, and D Jack Johnson missed his sixth with foot injury. … The clubs finish the season series Thursday night in Los Angeles, where the Sharks will try to finish a four-game sweep at Staples Center. … Thornton’s assist was his 300th point with the Sharks. He has 70 goals and 230 assists in just 220 games with San Jose.

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  • Anonymous

    Only 2 losses away from wrapping up the prize.

  • Kevco

    I really thought we had a chance to tie it with 7 minutes left. Then a stupid penalty and then a bench minor leads to 5-3, we gave up that game, I really thought we had it going our way in the third. Maybe Thursday.

  • Pat McGroyn

    GO TAMPA GO!!!!!!!

  • Harry

    Go Kings Go!!

    1 more loss to SJ
    1 win vs the ducksuck

    and we should be good to go…

  • Dan H.

    Yeah it was close until those penalties and I have to say the guys did really well on that 5-3 until they finally bagged one. Lots of blocked shots and good effort.

  • Paul

    This isn’t really related to the Kings, but I was amused to see Rich say that Ivananns almost had a Gordie Howe hat trick.

    This past Monday was Gordie’s 80th birthday, and I heard him interviewed last week on XM Radio.

    When asked how the term “Gordie Howe hat trick” came about, he said it was a writer in New York that coined the phrase in 1955 after Howe had a goal, an assist, and a fight against the Rangers.

    And what’s my point? Howe said it was the ONLY “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” he ever had in his career.

    Thought you guys would enjoy that. :)

  • anthony

    This team has alot of house cleaning to do.
    They’re full of players that aren’t even AHL worthy.
    I can’t think of any other team in this league that has so many players having absolutely NO ROLE for that team.
    Can anyone tell me what contributions these players have brought to this team:
    Thornton
    Wilsie
    Dallman
    Guliano
    Armstrong
    Handzuus
    Klemm
    Well, I have noticed Klemm blocking some shots of late. But he made two terrible turnovers yesterday that lead to the Curtis Brown goal.

    Let’s face it good teams that make the playoffs don’t have that many useless players on their roster.
    Wonder who Dumbo will sign this off season.

    And did anybody notice Lord Cammi play the entire 2 minutes of the power play in the second period.
    I mean his highness would just not get off the ice. I noticed Patrick O’Sullivan’s leg draped over the bench boards, waiting to join the second power play unit. But his majesty would have nothing to do with that. This player wants to score 30 goals very badly.
    Finally the goalie made a save, the whistle blew, and Lord Cammi had no other choice but to get off the ice.

  • Anonymous

    was the heidi androl firing an april fools thing?

  • andre norway

    Hey Anthony when are u gonna go down the freeway to quackland and stay down there???
    Klemm was brought in to be an mentor for the young defense we have in manchester and he have done a terrific job doing that. Handzus is coming off major knee surgery and has not been the offensive force some maybe thought he was but have been doing a good defense job and on PK. I think he will be better next season as a 3rd liner. Army is a stand out player that every team need. he gives 100% every shift and does not complain if he plays 5 min or 15 min. He knows his role on the team and execute it 110%. Guiliano has been ok, doing a decent job on PK but nothing more- he will be gone next season.Dalman is a no 6-7 defenseman and doing a goood job if u look at how many games he plays and he know what DL expect from him. Willsie has been a disappointment if u look at his one good season in washington – could have played with a little more grit.Thornton has been out some time with different injuries and havent got his game on the level we know he can play- wont be back next season. A big suprise u didnt put Nagys name on the list- wont be back.
    Every team need experience players thats why players like army and handzus will be on the kings rooster next season. So anthony go back to quackcountry and wave your orange t shirt goodbye.

  • Mike

    I would like to know something…

    I’m a Kings fan living up here in Vancouver…I read the posts on here all the time…

    Anthony…what is your background in hockey?…what gives you the right to make hockey related statements?

    Did you play?
    Did you coach?

    What?

    I think everyone who reads these posts would like to know…

  • Ethman

    “Anthony” is just here to stir the pot. Ignore him.

  • http://theguestlistclub.co.uk/alto london guest list

    Good post, thanks

  • http://tampapainter.blog.com/ Tampa Painter

    Great post!