In scoring their first goal in their previous 154:43 minutes of play tonight at San Jose’s SAP Center, the Kings pocketed their first win in six games, 11 days.
And boy, they needed it.
After their scoreless downer Saturday night at Dodger Stadium against the Anaheim Ducks, the Kings returned to reality in a date with the Sharks tonight, in a building where they had lost their last seven games.
The Kings hadn’t won in San Jose since April 4, 2011.
In fact, the home team had won 15 straight games in matchups between these two clubs, including postseason bouts. Neither club had won in the opposition’s building since the Sharks ousted the Kings at STAPLES Center on April 5, 2012.
The Kings came out dictating the pace of play, while San Jose tried to control the contest with their physicality – laying 19 first period hits.
Jonathan Quick made a case for ‘save of the year’ just minutes into play tonight on San Jose’s Bracken Kearns, setting the tone to a stellar night for the Kings’ goaltender.
Quick, with 23 saves tonight, recorded his third shutout of the season, and the 28th of his career.
Anze Kopitar got the Kings on the board with 2:04 remaining in the second period, as he received a pass from Jeff Carter while driving to the net, utilizing outstanding puck control and patience to beat San Jose’s Alex Stalock low to the right-side. It was Kopitar’s 15th goal of the season, and just his second in the past 13 games.
Kopitar’s tally lifted a 154:43 minute goalless drought for the Kings, who hadn’t scored since early in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center Thursday night.
San Jose couldn’t maintain their physical dominance after a first period that saw them record 19 hits. The Kings, who showed much improved movement and control with the puck throughout the night, evaded Sharks pressure, as San Jose could only connect on nine hits in the final 40 minutes.
The Kings struggled once again on the power play, failing to score on their five man-advantage opportunities, including a four-minute power play in the final minutes of tonight’s contest.
The Kings have now snapped their five-game losing streak, and managed to break the Sharks’ six-game winning streak in tonight’s 1-0 victory.
Kopitar, with his goal tonight, now has points in seven of his last 10 games (2G, 5A). Carter, with his assist on Kopitar’s marker, now has points in 12 of his last 14 games (8G, 4A).
Matt Greene, who made a return to the Kings' defensive corps tonight in lieu of the hyper-extended elbow injury Alec Martinez suffered at Dodger Stadium Saturday night, notched five hits, four blocked shots, and a +1 rating in 17:54 minutes of ice-time.
Now with a 30-18-6 record, which is good for 66 points, the Kings continue to sit at sixth-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings will travel to Glendale, Arizona tonight for a date with the Phoenix Coyotes tomorrow night at Jobing.com Arena before returning home to STAPLES Center Thursday night for a four-game home stand in prelude of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics stoppage.
Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 5:30 PT, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from Jobing.com Arena at 6:00.
1 - 0 LAK
Hi stick - double minor