Bob Boughner isn’t about to complain after walking out of Staples Center with two points on Tuesday night. Especially with the Sharks nearing the end of a marathon road trip that has spanned 11 games and still has one more game to go.
Evander Kane’s goal with less than a minute left in regulation spurred the Sharks to a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings.
His goal helped erase another poor second-period performance after the Sharks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. But Kane’s goal did something else, too.
In essence, he ensured the Sharks … and the Kings … a point in the standings. Under the league’s current rules all wins are worth two points, while overtime losses and shootout losses are one point.
"We're not going to be picky taking two points out of buildings," Boughner told reporters in a postgame video conference. "For us, I'm not even concerned about the other team getting a point. I'm concerned about us being able to play with leads, and playing smart, staying out of the box. Those kind of things."
So, make it through regulation and you’re guaranteed a point. In a 56-game season where the Sharks play a full regular season within the same eight-team West Division, this parity will be amplified.
The Sharks have two wins in the past three games, which is great, but the Anaheim Ducks and Kings also have each earned a “loser point” in shootout defeats. San Jose also benefited from the overtime rules, however, taking a loser point in Saturday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Ducks, so it goes both ways.
The Kings are expected to be among the West’s worst teams this year but the Ducks figure to be in the middle of the pack fighting for the top-four playoff spot. Through 11 games, the Sharks (5-5-1) have 11 points and hold a 4-1 mark in shootouts. The Ducks (5-6-3) are tied with the Arizona Coyotes for fourth place in the West with 13 points.
On Tuesday night, Martin Jones stole the show with an oh-so-close toe save in the shootout to send the Sharks to a victory.
San Jose and Anaheim will clash again on Thursday before the Sharks make their home debut against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
"We're scraping and clawing," Boughner said. "Hopefully when we get home, we get some better matchups and we get a little bit of home cookin'."