Kopitar, Kings start and finish strong to pummel Sharks 6-2

·2 min read

LOS ANGELES — Anze Kopitar, Carl Grundstrom and Jaret Anderson-Dolan each had a goal and an assist to help the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Thursday night and snap a five-game losing streak.

Alex Iafallo and Jeff Carter added power-play goals, Drew Doughty had three assists and Cal Petersen made 28 saves for the Kings.

Tomas Hertl scored twice and Martin Jones stopped 20 shots before being pulled in the third period for the Sharks.

It was the final game of a 12-game road trip to start the season for San Jose because of COVID-19 restrictions limiting contact sports in Santa Clara County, California.

Reversing a trend of poor starts this season, Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead in the first period. Kopitar gave the Kings the lead 2:47 into the game, tucking a wrist shot under the crossbar from the left dot on the power play.

Grundstrom positioned himself alone in front of the crease and tipped Anderson-Dolan’s shot in at 9:25 to make it 2-0.

The Kings went up 3-0 at 12:42 when Austin Wagner came out of the penalty box to score on a breakaway. Tobias Bjornfot made a clever stretch pass to set it up, and the assist was the first career point for the rookie defenceman drafted in the first round in 2019.

Hertl got the Sharks on the board at 16:25 to cut the deficit to 3-1, and he made it 3-2 at 17:49 of the second period.

But the Kings got goals from Anderson-Dolan, Iafallo and Carter in a span of 2:05 of the third period to pull away. Carter’s goal came during a 5-on-3 power play after the Sharks challenged Iafallo’s goal for goaltender interference.

The contact was ruled to have been caused by defenceman Brent Burns, who was sent to the box for slashing, and the unsuccessful review resulted in a second penalty for delay of game.

DUBNYK OUT

Sharks goalie Devan Dubnyk is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury. Dubnyk, who is 0-3-1 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in six appearances this season, last played against Anaheim on Saturday.

Alexei Melnichuk was Jones’ backup against the Kings, making five saves in relief.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday in their home opener.

Kings: Scheduled to host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, but that game is unlikely to be played as scheduled. The first game of the two-game set on Saturday has already been postponed, with 11 Minnesota players in COVID-19 protocol as of Thursday.

___

More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Dan Greenspan, The Associated Press