SAN JOSE (AP) — For the Los Angeles Kings, a one-goal deficit never seems daunting no matter how late in the game it gets.
Vincent Lecavalier scored the tying goal with 12.2 seconds remaining in regulation, Marian Gaborik added the winner in overtime and the Kings rallied past the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Sunday night.
“To pull off a win like this, it showed the character of this team and being resilient and getting timely goals,” center Anze Kopitar said. “We’ll certainly take it.”
Drew Doughty also scored while the Kings earned their league-best sixth win when trailing after two periods and extended their lead in the Pacific Division to nine points over the second-place Sharks. Jhonas Enroth made 30 saves to earn his first win since Nov. 12.
Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who extended their point streak to nine games despite the loss. It’s the longest streak for San Jose since getting a point in the first nine games in the 2013-14 season. Martin Jones made 29 saves.
But the Sharks missed out on a win when Mike Brown took a bad penalty that set up one Los Angeles goal in the third, and then they couldn’t protect another lead in the closing seconds.
“It was a great rivalry game,” Couture said. “It’s disappointing right now. We had the lead late and had a couple of chances to get the puck out. We didn’t and they found the net.”
Tyler Toffoli fed Gaborik with a long pass from his own zone in the final minute of overtime. Gaborik skated in and beat Jones with a wrister with 53.8 seconds to go to give Los Angeles the win with his second goal in the past 17 games.
“It definitely feels great to contribute with a goal. It’s been a while,” Gaborik said. “I had a half breakaway and just tried to go high glove, and I’m glad it went in.”
The Kings had tied the game in the closing seconds with the goalie pulled when Tanner Pearson tipped a shot from Dustin Brown on net and Lecavalier poked the rebound under Jones for his fourth goal in nine games since joining the Kings earlier this month.
“It’s a great play by Brownie,” Lecavalier said. “We actually had eye contact when he went to the corner he saw me behind the net kind of going in front of the net. It was a perfect play. He shot it between his legs. I was just there at right time.”
Couture had given the Sharks the lead earlier in the third when he beat Enroth with a quick release off a nice feed from Joonas Donskoi to offset a tying power-play goal by Doughty earlier in the period.
The Kings dominated early, getting seven of the first eight shots on net and controlling possession for most of the first period. But Jake Muzzin hit the post early and Jones came up with a few key saves to keep the game scoreless through one.
The Sharks then struck early in the second on their sixth shot of the game, shortly after killing off a penalty. Joe Thornton came out of the penalty box and chased down a clear to negate an icing. Thornton then won a board battle with Christian Ehrhoff and fed Tomas Hertl, who found an open Pavelski near the side of the net for the goal.
The assist extended Thornton’s point streak to nine games and gave him 23 points in the past 18 contests.
Things got testy later in the period after Brayden McNabb tripped Chris Tierney, sending him headfirst into the boards, but the Kings managed to kill off that power play. Los Angeles nearly tied it in the final seconds of the period, but Jones robbed Jeff Carter twice to preserve the 1-0 lead.
NOTES: The Sharks fell to 20-2-1 when scoring first this season. ... Los Angeles F Milan Lucic was suspended for one game for sucker punching Arizona’s Kevin Connauton on Saturday. ... Thornton played his 800th career regular season game with the Sharks.