The San Jose Sharks scored three straight goals in the first period after falling behind early in a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center in San Jose, California, on Friday.
Brent Burns had three assists for the Sharks (18-17-4), who have won five of six. Martin Jones made 32 saves and is 6-1-0 against the Kings this season.
San Jose has won three straight games against Los Angeles since April 2.
“[The Kings] were ahead of us in the standings, so they are all important points for us, even though we’re on the outside looking in (at the top four spots in the eight-team Honda West Division in the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs),” Jones said. “Important points the next couple of weeks, and we’ll see where we’re at.”
Alex Iafallo and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for the Kings (15-18-6), who have lost seven of their past nine. Calvin Petersen made 24 saves.
“I thought coming in here I was going to get a lot of questions about the breakaways, the power play, all the chances that we didn’t capitalize on,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s the garbage we’re giving up defensively, long chances again. Every time we play against this team, it’s a long chance. Poor pinch, a poor cover, and it’s in our net. We chase the game night after night after night.”
The teams will play again at San Jose on Saturday to wrap up the season series.
Iafallo scored 2:27 into the game to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Kevin Labanc tied it 1-1 at 8:01 with a wrist shot that deflected off Drew Doughty‘s stick.
Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 13:50 when Burns’ centering pass went in off his skate. Marleau has scored in two straight games for the first time since Nov. 1-3, 2018, when he was with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rudolfs Balcers put San Jose up 3-1 at 17:17. Petersen made the save against Timo Meier on a breakaway, but Balcers was first to the rebound and backhanded it in.
“Obviously, getting the first goal was a positive, but then we hit the snooze button for a little bit, so next thing you know we’re down 3-1, so that’s certainly not the recipe for success,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said.
Jones made the save on all 11 shots he faced in the second period, including against Jeff Carter on a 3-on-1 at 12:24 after Los Angeles killed a penalty and against Trevor Moore on a shorthanded breakaway at 16:29.
The Kings got within 3-2 1:02 into the third period when Anderson-Dolan’s sharp-angled shot went in off Jones’ skate.
“He just kind of flung it from the corner,” Jones said. “I didn’t see it right away and I was kind of too late. I was just kind of stuck where I was, and it found a way in.”
Dylan Gambrell finished a give-and-go with Evander Kane on a shorthanded 2-on-0 rush to extend the Sharks lead to 4-2 at 17:00.
It was the second goal in three games for Gambrell, who scored the winning goal in a 3-2 victory against the Kings on Saturday.
“He’s worked hard at his game and he’s become a pretty complete player for us, and nice to see him get one shorthanded,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said. “He’s just worked in all the small areas. We’ve asked him to be better in the face-off circle, we’ve asked him to kill penalties, play a responsible role for us, and he really has. He’s provided that third-line center role for us all year and he’s improving every day, and it’s nice to see.”
Tomas Hertl scored into an empty net at 18:41 for the 5-2 final.
NOTES: Kopitar played in his 1,112th game, passing Dave Taylor (1,111) for second in Kings history behind Dustin Brown (1,220). … The Sharks are 10-2-1 against the Kings (6-1-0) and Anaheim Ducks (4-1-1). … Kane had two assists for his 10th multipoint game this season. … Defenseman Christian Wolanin made his Los Angeles debut after being acquired in a trade from the Ottawa Senators on March 29. He had one shot on goal in 15:24. … Meier played his 300th NHL game.