Kopitar Lifts Kings Past Sharks

By Jamie Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2008 7:27 AM CDT
San Jose Sharks' Tom Cavanagh, left, and Los Angeles Kings' Scott Thornton (27) fight for the puck during the third period of their hockey game last night.   (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
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(Newser) – Anze Kopitar scored twice in the final 5:38 to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-2 victory over playoff-bound San Jose on Thursday night, handing the Sharks their first regulation loss in 21 games. Brian Willsie and Raitis Ivanans, who totaled seven goals in the Kings' first 80 games, both scored against Vezina Trophy candidate Evgeni Nabokov , as well.

The loss was the Sharks' first that didn't involve overtime or a shootout since Feb. 20. By dropping their next-to-last game of the regular season, San Jose won't become the first post-1980 expansion team to put together back-to-back 50-win seasons. The Sharks also failed to get their first-ever sweep of the four road games against the Kings. (Read more NHL stories.)