AP NEWS

Jones makes 28 saves, Sharks beat struggling Kings 2-0

December 24, 2017

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, right, passes as Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (27) closes in during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks have time to make up ground in the Pacific Division. If their most recent effort is a harbinger of what they’re capable of after the Christmas break, they like their chances.

Martin Jones had 28 saves, Joe Pavelski scored for the second time in three games and the Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 on Saturday night.

“When we play with energy like that, and that kind of compete, we can beat any team in the league,” Jones said. “It’s just a matter of rolling that game out every night.”

Marcus Sorensen also had a goal as the Sharks improved to 5-1-2 over their last eight games. The Kings are 2-3-1 over their last six and have lost four of their last five away from home.

Sorenson pushed through three defenders and flicked an off-balance backhand shot past Jonathan Quick for his third goal at 10:01 of the second period.

“I saw two guys skate into each other and the puck was right there,” Sorensen said. “First I thought I was going to pass to (Joel) Ward on the backdoor, then I decided to go to the net.”

Jones, who came up with the Kings as Quick’s backup from 2013-15, recorded his 100th career victory. Jones had lost his previous three starts going into Saturday and was 1-3-2 with a 4.08 goals-against average in December.

Quick had 29 saves.

“It was a tough game,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “I thought we created some good looks and when we did Jonesy was really good. I thought Jonathan gave us a good chance to win the hockey game, we just needed a little more.”

The Sharks scored five seconds into their fifth power play when Pavelski redirected Brent Burns’ shot at 7:35 of the third period. Pavelski’s eighth goal came five seconds after Jake Muzzin was called for holding.

Pavelski also scored in a 5-3 loss to Edmonton on Monday. His goal was his 10th in 30 games against Quick.

The Kings entered Saturday boasting the NHL’s best penalty kill but have allowed at least one power-play goal in seven of their last eight games.

Los Angeles blew four power-play chances against a team ranked No. 2 in the penalty killing department.

The Sharks moved into third place in the Pacific Division, trailing Los Angeles and Vegas by six points.

The Kings (22-11-4) go into the break tied for first with Vegas (23-9-2) with 48 points.

“We’re still in a really good spot,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said. “I don’t think there were too many people who thought we were going to be in this spot to begin with. We realize where we are, we also realize that we can’t sneak up on anybody anymore.”

NOTES: Kings G Jack Campbell was recalled on an emergency basis. ... LW Kyle Clifford went on injured reserve with an upper-body injury retroactive to Dec. 16. ... Sharks C Logan Couture was out for a third game since being concussed Dec. 15. San Jose doesn’t have a timetable for his return. ... D Joakim Ryan was recalled from the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL and F Daniel O’Regan was sent to the minor league team. O’Regan was part of a beleaguered fourth line that coach Pete DeBoer benched in the third period of Thursday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. ... F Joel Ward, a scratch on Thursday, played the fourth line Saturday. ... D Paul Martin rejoined the team a day after sitting out the fifth game of a conditioning assignment with flu symptoms. He was a scratch Saturday.

UP NEXT

Los Angeles: Hosts Vegas on Thursday night in a showdown for first place in the Pacific Division.

San Jose: Hosts Calgary on Thursday night.

___

More AP hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

AP RADIO
Update hourly