LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joel Ward scored the tie-breaking goal on a long deflection off his skate with 7:10 to play, and the San Jose Sharks rallied from a third-period deficit for a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night.
Melker Karlsson scored the tying goal early in the third before Ward used his left skate from the faceoff circle to redirect Barclay Goodrow’s shot for his third goal of the season.
Martin Jones made 26 saves for the Sharks, who have won six of seven overall after evening the season series with their California rivals in a defense-dominated game.
Dustin Brown scored on a first-period power play for the Pacific Division-leading Kings, who have lost four of six after a 9-1-1 start. Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots, but Los Angeles lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Captain Anze Kopitar extended his points streak to a career high-tying eight games with an assist for the Kings, but the game was appropriately low-scoring for a meeting of the NHL’s two stingiest defensive teams.
The Kings went ahead in the first period on Brown’s redirection of Kopitar’s shot for the Kings’ sixth power play goal in six games.
The 33-year-old Brown was stripped of the Kings’ captaincy last season and seemed to be on the downslope of his career with an immovable, multi-year contract and declining production.
But the two-time Stanley Cup winner has been utterly revitalized under new coach John Stevens. Playing with his usual physicality while rediscovering his offensive ability, Brown scored his eighth goal of this season nearly three months earlier than he hit the same mark last year, when he failed to crack 40 points for the fourth consecutive season.
After a scoreless second period featuring 15 saves by Quick, Karlsson tied it with his third goal of the season after a Kings clearing attempt went awry. Logan Couture got his Sharks-leading 15th point with an assist.
NOTES: Kopitar also has a seven-game assists streak, another career high. He leads the Kings with 21 points. Kopitar scored his 21st point last season on Jan. 12. … Sharks RW Kevin Labanc returned to the lineup after a two-game stint in the minors. Jannik Hansen was a healthy scratch. … Kings F Adrian Kempe returned to the lineup after missing one game. Rookie Michael Amadio was scratched for the first time since his NHL debut Oct. 26.
Sharks: Host Florida Panthers on Thursday to open a three-game homestand.
Kings: Host Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday in the third game of a five-game homestand.
(@Copyright 2017. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)