Kings pull away in third, hold off Sharks in win

Kings defenseman Sean Walker, and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl reach for the puck as goaltender Pheonix Copley watches.
Kings defenseman Sean Walker, left, and San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl, center, reach for the puck as goaltender Pheonix Copley watches during the first period on Wednesday at Arena.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Quinton Byfield had a goal and an assist, Gabe Vilardi and Drew Doughty scored in the third period, and the Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Adrian Kempe also had a goal, Pheonix Copley make 26 saves, and the Kings won their third straight game while improving to 10-2-1 in their past 13. They moved into a tie with Vegas for the Pacific Division lead with 56 points, though the Golden Knights have played three fewer games.

The victory also gave the Kings a season sweep (3-0-0) of the Sharks for the first time in franchise history.


Timo Meier had a goal and an assist, Alexander Barabanov and Nick Bonino also scored, but the Sharks couldn’t sweep back-to-back games after winning at Arizona on Tuesday. James Reimer had 33 saves.

Vilardi alertly redirected Sean Durzi’s shot from the left point to put the Kings ahead 3-2 with 7:20 to go in the third period.

Doughty finished off an odd-man rush with 6:27 left for the 4-2 advantage before Barabanov scored with 2:06 remaining, but the Sharks couldn’t come up with another goal to snatch a point.

Meier tied it 2-2 with 9:49 remaining in the third. He beat Copley on a wrist shot from the left circle on the power play for his 24th goal.

The Kings were at their best Monday night, nearly silencing Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, the NHL scoring leader, for their ninth win in 12 games.

Jan. 10, 2023

The Kings’ top line combined for the opening goal 5:59 into the game. Kempe buried his team-leading 18th goal from the top of the paint off an alert pass from Byfield, who built up speed from the neutral zone to get behind the net.

Bonino capitalized on a gaffe by Copley to tie it at 1 1:20 into the second. Unable to cleanly catch Erik Karlsson’s shot off a faceoff win, Copley tried to sweep the puck away with his stick, only to send it right to Bonino, who backhanded it between Copley’s pads from the right circle for his fifth goal.


Byfield put the Kings up 2-1 at 6:58 of the second period, scoring his first goal in 16 games this season by chopping down Mikey Anderson’s shot from the point.