SAN JOSE -- They werent going to let a third period lead disappear this time. Not against the Los Angeles Kings.Logan Coutures goal at 6:40 of the final frame increased San Joses lead to three, and the Sharks held on to defeat their rivals to the south on Monday night at HP Pavilion, 4-2.San Jose was ahead of Nashville by the same 3-1 score on Saturday night, before the Predators erased it and won in overtime at HP Pavilion, 4-3.Coutures goal came when he found a juicy rebound of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot off of the pad of goaltender Jonathan Quick, and backhanded in his sixth goal of the year.
Very important, is how Todd McLellan described the goal. When you give up a lead in the third like we did the other day, its always in the back of your mind.The game was won in the second period, though. The Sharks trailed after Jack Johnsons rocket of a one-timer on a two-man advantage opened the scoring at 6:19 of the second, but San Jose took over from there.The Sharks scored three times before the period was through, outshooting the Kings 21-8 in the process.Joe Thornton got it started. The Sharks captain controlled the puck behind the net, skated around towards the slot, and caught Quick leaning the wrong way as he lifted a backhand in off of the Kings goaltenders glove at 11:39.I kind of just saw that he was cheating at the very, very end, and I just wanted to get it on net and hopefully bank it in, said Thornton. I got lucky, I guess.San Jose took its first lead less than a minute later. Dan Boyle skated the puck over the blue line and patiently waited as defensemen Johnson and Rob Scuderi faded back towards the crease. Boyles low wrister found the tape of Marleau for a deflection goal at 12:35.Kings forwards Simon Gagne and Justin Williams got tangled up on the backcheck as Boyle skated it up the ice, giving the defenseman plenty of time to survey the landscape before his feed to Marleau.Obviously when I put the brakes on, I have to make a decision. Im no longer in position to skate the puck in because Im standing still, explained Boyle. Its either right side, left side, or on net, and I figured Id go with my chances on Patty going to the net there.The Sharks got a two-man advantage goal of their own at 17:02, when the puck squirted out to Boyle in the high slot and he ripped it home.Boyle seemed relieved to get his first goal of the season out of the way.I felt like Ive been playing with a tennis ball most of this year, the puck has been bouncing around a lot, he said. With an open net like that, everybody in the building expects you to put it in. It was nice to get rewarded, finally, for putting the puck on net.Coutures third period goal gave the Sharks their 4-1 lead, but the Kings didnt go away easily. Colin Whites cross-checking penalty in the third period put L.A. back on the power play, and Boyle gave Anze Kopitar a little too much room on the wing as the Kings leading scorer managed to put in his own rebound at 8:28.That was as close as L.A. would get, though, despite having a six-on-four advantage in the games final minute-and-a-half with Couture in the box and Quick pulled for an extra attacker.Antti Niemi finished the night with 29 saves, in a solid bounce-back performance from his previous two games. The goaltender allowed two third period goals to the Predators that he would have liked to have back on Saturday, and was pulled just 2:04 into last Thursdays game against Pittsburgh.In the first period, he stopped all 15 Kings shots thrown his way, including a pair on the snake bitten Dustin Penner. The Kings forward was denied on a breakaway midway through, and Niemi gloved his quick wrist shot on a setup from Mike Richards with less than a minute before intermission.Niemi explained both chances. On the breakaway, I tried to make him go first, and thats what happened. I got the paddle down so I dont think he had too much there. On the glove save, he caught me moving a little bit and put the puck back to the same side he was coming from. Pretty good shot, but I was able to catch it.He played great, said Thornton. Penner had a couple good shots on him and he made some big saves. I think after the first period, we kind of said lets let Nemo relax and score some goals and give him a comfort zone. But, he kept us in it early in the first.Penner, who was acquired from Edmonton at last years trade deadline and has been nothing short of a bust for the Kings, is still looking for his first goal.The victory, the Sharks third of the year at home, extends the Kings winless streak to five games (0-3-2).Odds and ends: Marleau finished with a goal and two assists for three points. Other Sharks with multiple-point nights included Joe Pavelski (2a), Thornton (1g, 1a) and Boyle (1g, 1a). The Sharks have both scored and allowed two goals on the two-man advantage this season The Sharks and Kings next meeting is on Nov. 28 at Staples Center. Ryane Clowe had a breakaway at the end of the second period but lost control of the puck at the last second. ... The Sharks have a complete day off on Tuesday.