The San Jose Sharks closed out 2016 with a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday night.
The Kings got on the board first as Tanner Pearson carried the puck from the neutral zone all the way into the high slot and fired a wrist shot through traffic to beat Martin Jones for his ninth goal of the season.
The Sharks were outshot 13-6 and trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Brent Burns drew a tripping penalty on Anze Kopitar at 19:28 of the second period. The Kings took a 2-0 lead at 18:29 when Drew Doughty fired a slap shot from the top of the circle over Jones’ shoulder for a power play goal and his sixth of the season.
The Sharks were outshot 19-12 and trailed 2-0 after 40 minutes.
Anze Kopitar continued to serve a minor penalty for holding the stick to start the third period.
The Sharks finally got on the board just 12 seconds into the third as Brent Burns fired a wrist shot through traffic from the high slot to cut the Kings’ lead in half.
Jeff Carter scored his 20th of the season to put the Kings ahead 3-1 at 16:04. Carter carried the puck in and fired a wrist shot over Jones’ glove for the go-ahead goal.
The Sharks pulled within a goal with 6:03 left in regulation. Kevin Labanc grabbed a blocked shot in the circle, spun around and fired a pinpoint shot over the glove of Peter Budaj for his seventh of the season.
The Sharks tried to rebound from a 2-0 deficit, but couldn’t seal the deal. They lost a close 3-2 game to the Kings.
The Sharks and Kings meet again next Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. PST on NBCSN.