SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Nothing ever changes when it comes to San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings games. It is going to be close to the bitter end.
The bitter end came in the eighth round of the shootout when center Joe Thornton scored to lead the Sharks to a 3-2 win over the Kings on Wednesday night.
San Jose won in the shootout for only the second time in six tries this season. The Kings lost, but extended their points streak to a franchise-tying 11th straight game (7-0-4).
The teams each had 40 shots through regulation and overtime.
The Kings tied the game at 6:23 of the third period when defenseman Drew Doughty's pass intended for center Jarret Stoll instead ricocheted off the leg of back-skating Sharks' defenseman Scott Hannan and past San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi.
Despite being outshot 19-7, the Sharks scored twice in the second period to take a one-goal edge into intermission.
Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin blocked a shot by Sharks right winger Tyler Kennedy, but center Joe Pavelski swooped in for the loose puck and beat Ben Scrivens at 2:43 after the Los Angeles goalie stopped the first 19 shots he faced.
The visitors failed to convert during four minutes of defenseman Dan Boyle's double-minor for high sticking right winger Justin Williams as Niemi was spectacular in turning away four tough shots during the second half of the advantage.
San Jose broke the 1-1 tie at 16:54 thanks to good fortune. After Doughty turned it over at the Los Angeles blueline, Sharks rookie winger Tomas Hertl rimmed a puck behind the net. In his haste to help defenseman Willie Mitchell, Scrivens accidentally kicked the puck back into his own net with Thornton in hot pursuit. Thornton got credit for his third goal of the season.
The Sharks outshot the Kings 18-8 in the first period, but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes because they allowed a goal 18 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Right winger Jeff Carter won a battle on the boards then beat Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart to the front of the net to tap a feed from left winger Dwight King past Niemi. King beat Hertl behind the goal line to retrieve a puck shot wide moments earlier by center Mike Richards.
It took a while for the Sharks to free themselves from the Kings' heavy forecheck, which coincided with difficulty in the faceoff circle. Niemi saved Boyle when the defenseman turned the puck over to Richards, who was then stopped on a backhand breakaway with 9:30 left.
Once San Jose found its legs it put a lot of pressure on Scrivens.
The rookie netminder stopped Patrick Marleau at 11:18 when the speedy Shark winger darted inside Doughty and took the puck to the front of the net. Boyle's backhand attempt in close was stopped a minute later.
Pavelski's line created a handful of chances during a long cycle that got the Kings' defense running around and Hertl followed with two in-close opportunities inside the period's final minute.
NOTES: Second-year D Matt Irwin returned to San Jose's lineup after being a healthy scratch in six straight and nine of the last 10. Irwin's benching stemmed from an Oct. 30 game in Los Angeles, won by the Kings in overtime, 4-3. ... D Jason Demers, F John McCarthy and RW Matt Pelech were healthy scratches for the Sharks. Pelech was promoted from Worcester on Tuesday while rookie RW Matt Nieto was assigned to San Jose's affiliate in the AHL. A healthy scratch in San Jose's last two games, Nieto opened the season with two goals and six points in 12 games until going scoreless in seven straight. ... The Sharks began a challenging stretch of three games on Wednesday to close out a season-long five-game homestand as St. Louis and Anaheim follow Los Angeles in on Friday and Saturday, respectively, to cap the three-game in four-night stretch. ... RW Matt Frattin, C Colin Fraser and LW Tanner Pearson did not dress for the Kings.