Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals in his return from an ankle injury, including the game-winner 2:29 into overtime, as the visiting Los Angeles Kings pulled off a second consecutive surprise victory by topping the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Iafallo also scored a goal for the Kings, who defeated a Sharks team that entered as the fifth best in the Western Conference. The victory came four days after a strong 4-1 victory over the Western Conference-leading Winnipeg Jets.
The Kings entered last in the conference and their minus-28 goal differential was second worst.
Joe Pavelski tied the game at 2 with 31 seconds remaining in regulation, his 23rd goal of the season. Lukas Radil also delivered a third-period goal, his third of the season, as the Sharks lost consecutive home games after falling to Winnipeg on Thursday.
The Kings earned a point in three consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Sharks had won five consecutive games and seven of their last eight before dropping consecutive contests this week, the first time they have lost back-to-back games since a four-game road losing streak Nov. 24-Dec. 1.
It was the first time the Sharks lost consecutive home games since Oct. 30-Nov. 1 against the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kovalchuk had missed the previous 10 Kings games after undergoing an ankle procedure on Dec. 2. He scored his first goal of the game from inside the left circle after taking a pass from Jake Muzzin. His game winner came on a breakaway, giving him seven goals on the season.
Kovalchuk’s goals were his first goal since Nov. 6 after going scoreless in 11 games before missing time because of the ankle issue.
The Kings won despite having a goal wiped away via replay for the second consecutive game. Oscar Fantenberg put the puck in the Sharks’ goal on a blistering shot from out front in the second period, but replays showed that Kings right wing Dustin Brown entered the crease on his own and brushed up against Jones just before the puck entered the net.
Getting most attention in the second period was a hard hit by the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson on the Kings’ Austin Wagner, who appeared woozy as he left the ice. Wagner did not return. No penalty was called on the play that is expected to be reviewed by the NHL.
Iafallo scored from the left circle at 5:15 of the third period, redirecting a pass from Brown for his eighth goal of the season. Iafallo extended his career-best point streak to six games.
—Field Level Media