The San Jose Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 in a Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Staples Center.
The last time these two teams faced each other was on Oct. 12 at SAP Center. The Sharks earned a 2-1 win in its home opener over the Kings.
Kevin Labanc remains a work in progress, but he has slowly been progressing.
Logan Couture cashed in on a two-on-one rush and made a nice saucer pass to Labanc, who knocked it in for his second goal of the season to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead 3:32 into the first.
Then a little over a minute later, Brenden Dillon limped to the locker room after blocking a shot from Kings forward Nic Dowd. Fortunately, Dillon appeared to be fine, and returned to the Sharks’ bench.
Couture picked up a rebound off a shot by Joonas Donskoi to make it 2-0 Sharks with 54.6 seconds left in the first.
Just 30 seconds later, the Sharks took a 3-0 lead, as Ryan Carpenter took advantage of a two-on-one and fired a slick wrist shot through the five-hole of Kings goaltender Peter Budaj for his first NHL goal.
The two teams were even in shots at 7-7 but the Sharks were held to just three shots through 15 minutes. San Jose led 3-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The beginning of the second period was not pretty for the Sharks.
The Kings had plenty of scoring chances and zone time, which they eventually took advantage of. Los Angeles received their second power play of the game after Labanc was called for hooking. Forward Dustin Brown cut the Sharks’ lead to 3-1 at 3:01 with his fourth goal of the season. Brown weaved through traffic and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Sharks goaltender Martin Jones.
However, there was a silver lining for the Sharks when Chris Tierney returned to the Sharks’ bench after crashing into the end boards late in the second.
Brent Burns made a big play midway through the second to prevent a Trevor Lewis shot from entering the net. The Sharks continued to lead 3-1 after 40 minutes of play, despite the Kings holding an 18-16 edge in shots.
The Sharks received their first power play in the third period for the second straight game. Derek Forbort was called for cross checking at 5:12. San Jose had a chance to put the game away in regulation and managed to do so.
Couture scored a long-range, empty-net goal to put the Sharks up 4-1 with 1:17 left.
The Sharks snapped the Kings’ five-game winning streak with a 4-1 win. San Jose is 2-0 against Los Angeles so far this season.
Jones finished with 26 saves in a San Jose victory. Budaj made 20 saves in a losing effort for Los Angeles.
The Sharks will return home to host the Montreal Canadiens on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PST. You can watch the game on CSN California. You can also listen to the broadcast on 98.5 KFOX.