If you had flashbacks to the 2014 NHL playoffs, you weren’t alone. The Sharks had a comfortable 3-0 lead over the Kings, but the rival LA squad tied things up 3-3.
But this time, San Jose didn’t fall victim to the SoCal rival, thanks to a Patrick Marleau overtime marker that gave the Sharks their third overtime win in a row, this time by a score of 4-3.
Here are three takeaways from Monday's game.
Falling into the trap?
Yes, it's weird to think of a contest against the Kings a trap game for the Sharks due to the long history the two division rivals share, but times have changed and LA just isn't very good. So, coming off of back-to-back wins over tough opponents, San Jose was at risk of struggling against a subpar team.
However, the Sharks got off to a good start and were able to maintain control of the game through the first two periods. But San Jose’s third-period play proved treacherous. It doesn’t matter how good or bad the opponent is, the Sharks can’t let teams wiggle back into games like that when they have a good lead.
On a positive note …
Good on Goodrow
Barclay Goodrow has been a popular topic of conversation, and rightfully so. He has brought his game to another level from both an offensive and defensive standpoint, and Monday's game against the Kings showed his improvement on both of those fronts.
Goodrow continued his role as one of San Jose's top penalty killers when the team got into penalty trouble midway through the game and did tremendous work setting up the plays that resulted in both of Timo Meier's goals. There's no denying Goodrow's contributions have been a key factor in the Sharks turning things around.
Boost on the back end
The Sharks played seven defensemen for the third game in a row and that decision -- at least for the majority of Monday’s game -- continued to pay dividends. With Tim Heed performing well in his role as the seventh man, San Jose's defense has done a good job of taking the ice away from their opponents. With Tomas Hertl still sidelined with a lower-body injury, it's nice to see San Jose be able to find success from other areas.
Of course, one wonders how long the Sharks can keep up that strategy. They have a stretch of three games in four nights coming up later this week, which is tough for a team no matter what kind of a lineup takes the ice. Hopefully, for San Jose's sake, fatigue doesn't set in now that the Sharks have put some wins together and are climbing up the standings.