If the San Jose Sharks can ever figure out how to manage the second period, they might be onto something this season.
Logan Couture scored in a shootout after teammate Evander Kane tied the game with 44.3 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 on Tuesday night despite blowing a two-goal lead.
“It was a little bit of a rollercoaster,” Couture said. “Getting a second (point) in overtime or a shootout is very important right now so we’ll take it, but there’s definitely a lot of stuff we can clean up.”
Couture also had a goal for the third straight game. Timo Meier scored and Martin Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks.
Dustin Brown had two goals and an assist for the Kings, who lost their fifth straight. Anze Kopitar also scored and Cal Petersen stopped 37 shots.
“It was a good game after the first. Our whole team didn’t show up in the first,” Brown said.
Los Angeles rallied from a 2-0 deficit and went ahead on Brown’s one-timer from the right circle at 10:45 of the third. Kane jammed in a rebound at 19:15 to tie it 3-all.
Couture converted his shootout attempt and Jones saved two shots sandwiched around Kings forward Lias Andersson hitting the post.
“We found a way to win, and tonight I thought our best players were our best players,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said.
Sharks forward Patrick Marleau played in his 1,734th game to break a tie with Jaromir Jagr for third-most in NHL history. The 41-year-old Marleau is 23 games behind Mark Messier in second place with 1,756 career games.
Marleau helped the Sharks go up 2-0 at 17:48 of the first period when Couture scored on a one-timer from a sharp angle during a delayed penalty. Marleau had the primary assist on Couture’s fourth goal in five games.
San Jose needed just 1:22 to score the opening goal, hemming Los Angeles in its own end before Meier cut across the crease to fake out Petersen and bury a backhand into an open net.
Kopitar got the Kings back in it seven minutes into the second by scoring on a breakaway, and Brown tied it on the power play at 17:54.
San Jose has been outscored 20-5 in the second period this season.
“Obviously we want to be playing with the lead a little bit more, especially going into the third, but when you can find ways to win, those are really important games throughout the season,” Jones said.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty did not return because of an apparent right arm injury sustained blocking a shot by Brent Burns in the third. Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan had no update on Doughty's status after the game.
STILL BRINGING IT
Marleau played 13:42 and mostly centered the fourth line between youngsters Rudolfs Balcers and Noah Gregor. The veteran got just his second point in 11 games, but Boughner and Sharks teammates insist Marleau remains a valuable contributor.
“I thought he was unreal tonight. I thought he played his best game of the year,” Couture said. “He can still skate. He can probably play until he’s 65 and still be able to skate in the NHL.”
SAME OLD STORY
The Kings have allowed the opponent to score first in 10 of their 12 games, tied with Ottawa for most in the league.
San Jose and Los Angeles wrap up their two-game series Thursday night.
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