LOS ANGELES -- Well, well, the visiting San Jose Sharks are headed home with two victories in the bag after duplicating another solid road effort in Saturday night's 2-1 win over the frustrated Los Angeles Kings. Game 3 goes Monday night in San Jose at 10:30 p.m. ET.
How it happened: For a second game in a row the Sharks scored on their first shot of the game, and again it was captain Joe Pavelski whose wrist shot through a screen 3:37 into the first period gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
It allowed the Sharks to relax early and impose their game plan on the Kings for the second straight game, namely limiting time and space on L.A.'s forwards and giving the Kings almost nothing as far as net presence.
Heck, the Kings had only seven shots on goal halfway through the game.
Even the return of Marian Gaborik, out since Feb. 12 because of a serious knee injury, couldn't inject any offense. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter threw his lines into a blender pretty early in the game, mixing and matching all kinds of combinations, trying to find a spark from his forward group.
But this was nearly a perfect road game by the Sharks.
Vincent Lecavalier made things interesting when he scored with 5:01 left to make it 2-1, but the Sharks nullified the Kings' rally from there.
So far former Kings backup netminder Martin Jones is getting the upper hand on Jonathan Quick, and while the Sharks goalie hasn't been overly tested, his pad save on Milan Lucic late in the second period with the Kings on a power play and threatening was a big moment in the game.
San Jose wasn't quite as dangerous offensively on this night compared to Game 1, but once the Sharks got Logan Couture's goal on a 5-on-3 power play 8:44 into the second period, it's all they would need on this night.
What it means: The Kings fell behind 3-0 in their series with San Jose two years ago before mounting their famous comeback, so we're not going to write off L.A. yet. But dropping two home games to start a series is an awful hole to dig out of. Remember that they lost their opening two games in 2014 at San Jose before returning home to change the momentum.
The Kings have no chance to come back in this series unless center Anze Kopitar engages himself to a whole other level. He has been rather invisible in these two opening games, which is not his usual fare at all when it comes to the playoff stage where he has succeeded so often.
The Sharks have now won five of seven games with the Kings this season including all four here at Staples Center. Now they head home where they strangely struggled this season. But you know the Shark Tank will be rocking Monday night with the home team having brought home two wins from L.A.