Martin Jones made 32 saves to stymie Los Angeles again, Patrick Marleau scored his 566th career goal and the San Jose Sharks beat the Kings 5-2 on Friday night.
Kevin Labanc, Rudolfs Balcers and Dylan Gambrell also scored, and Brent Burns had three assists to give San Jose its fifth win in six games. Tomas Hertl added an empty-net goal.
But the key to this victory was once again Jones. He beat the Kings for the sixth time this season and has a .933 save percentage in seven games against his former team. He joined Mike Vernon (1997-98 against Anaheim) as the only Sharks goalies to beat one team six times in a season.
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“It’s going well,” Jones said. “It’s obviously more fun winning hockey games. The challenge for us as a group is when things are going well to not change anything. When we play a certain way, we’re a tough team to play against.”
Alex Iafallo and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for Los Angeles, and Cal Petersen made 24 saves. The Kings have lost seven of nine.
“Getting the first goal is a positive,” Kings captain Anze Kopitar said. “We hit the snooze button for a little bit and next thing you know we’re down 3-1. That’s certainly not the recipe for success.”
Marleau scored in back-to-back games for the first time since November 2018 when Burns’ centering pass hit his skate and deflected past Petersen to make it 2-1 in the first. Marleau played his 1,762nd career game, five shy of tying Gordie Howe’s all-time record.
“Patty has been real good in the last few weeks,” coach Bob Boughner said. “It’s nice to see him being at the top of his game as he’s approaching that record. He’s in a good spot for us.”
That goal was part of a three-goal first period that Jones made stand up with a stellar second that included stops on breakaways by Iafallo and Trevor Moore.
Jones did allow a soft goal from a bad angle to Anderson-Dolan early in the third, but the Sharks held on for the win thanks to a short-handed breakaway goal by Gambrell with 3:00 remaining.
“Every time we play against this team it’s a long chance, a poor pinch, a poor cover and we chase the game night after night after night,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.
Los Angeles managed to score first for just the second time in seven meetings against San Jose this season when Iafallo was left alone in front to redirect a centering pass from Dustin Brown past Jones.
But that didn’t help the Kings solve their first-period woes as the Sharks scored three times in less than 10 minutes after killing a penalty.
Labanc scored on the rush, Marleau gave San Jose the lead and Balcers scored on a rebound after Timo Meier was stopped on a partial breakaway. It was the first three-goal first period for the Sharks since Nov. 12, 2019, against Edmonton.
The Kings have been outscored by 18 goals in the opening period this season, second worst in the league to Ottawa’s minus-21.
DROP THE GLOVES
There were a pair of fights in the second period with San Jose’s Jeffrey Viel squaring off against Kurtis MacDermid in a matchup of enforcers, and the Sharks’ Marcus Sorensen taking on Andreas Athanasiou in a tame fight between unexpected combatants.
Sorensen and Athanasiou then fought again at the final buzzer.
The teams finish their season series on Saturday night in San Jose.