LOS ANGELES — After a worse-than-dismal performance from start to finish on Saturday night in an embarrassing 6-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Los Angeles Kings blew a four-goal lead on Tuesday night and were headed for a second disaster in a row. But thanks to a bad angle goal by winger Teddy Purcell, they managed to hold off the class of the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks, in a 6-4 victory.
Kings center Anze Kopitar led the way for the Kings with a goal and two assists, while defenseman Davis Drewiske scored his first National Hockey League goal and added an assist. Center Michal Handzus contributed two assists.
After taking a 4-0 lead past the midway point of the second period, the Kings collapsed, allowing four straight power play goals, the tying goal scored by Sharks forward Dany Heatley at 14:24 of the third period.
But just 26 seconds later, Purcell got the puck in the right corner of the Sharks zone and wristed it towards the net. The puck snuck in between the pads of San Jose backup goaltender Thomas Greiss, who replaced starter Evgeni Nabokov at 12:16 of the second period after he allowed the Kings’ fourth goal of the game, a long wrist shot by Kopitar from high in the right circle, a shot Nabokov should have stopped easily.
Drewiske’s empty-net goal at 18:41 of the third period gave the Kings their final margin of victory.
NOTES: Kopitar’s two goals and three assist for five points in the first two games; the line of Kopitar, Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams has scored three goals with six assists for nine points in the two games; Defenseman Drew Doughty bounced back after playing the worst game of his young NHL career against Phoenix on Saturday. Against the Sharks, Doughty contributed an assist and earned a +3 plus/minus rating after recording a -2 rating on Saturday; Jarret Stoll won eleven out of fourteen face-offs (78.6%), but the rest of the Kings’ centers were awful in the face-off circle. Handzus won 30.4% of his face-offs, Kopitar won 35.4% and Brad Richardson won only 33.3% of his face-offs; Smyth has 18 goals in 49 games against the Sharks.
Post-Game Audio Interviews (raw, unedited)
Rob Scuderi (2:10)
Dustin Brown (5:09)
Drew Doughty (1:02)
Terry Murray (4:44)
Game highlights from NHL Video on YouTube
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