Kings
Sharks
4 - 2 Final
  for this game

Rookies Brust, Kopitar shine as Kings top Sharks

Dec 15, 2006 - 6:18 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Coach Marc Crawford apparently should have started Barry Brust much sooner.

Brust made 34 saves in his first career start and fellow rookie Anze Kopitar scored twice as the Los Angeles Kings withstood a late comeback attempt to post a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in the back end of a home-and-home series.

"That was pretty much the story," Crawford said. "We had a great performance from a couple of kids tonight."

Recalled from Manchester of the American Hockey League on November 29, Brust had made just one appearance for the Kings prior to Thursday, entering in relief of Dan Cloutier in a 7-4 loss to Phoenix a day after joining the club.

The 23-year-old got the call in this one due to a shoulder injury suffered by Cloutier during pregame warmups.

"I found out I was starting in between warmups and first period," Brust said. "Cloutier got hurt. I wasn't sure how bad it was or whatever, but the coach brought me into the office, shook my hand, said, 'Congratulations, it's your first NHL start,' and he kind of tried to ease and calm my nerves. I just tried to take the ball and run with it."

"Tough spot to put a guy in, but Barry has played before. I thought our guys did a lot of good things in front of him," Crawford said. "Cloutier took a shot off the shoulder in the pregame warmup and it was too sore. He had lost the feeling in his arm. We had it X-rayed and it's nothing, but he wasn't able to play tonight, so we had to press Barry Brust into service, and Barry ended up being the story tonight."

Brust admitted he was happier not having time to prepare for his first NHL start.

"I think it was almost better because I didn't know going into the game," he said. "I didn't really have a chance to think about it. I just went out there and played, tried to have some fun."

Brust made the most of his chance, stopping the first 24 shots he faced before San Jose finally broke through midway through the third period.

"The boys battled hard and made things easy on me and let me have the first shot, and they took care of a lot of the rebounds," Brust said. "I'm pretty happy. I've waited 23 years for this and I'm happy that it has finally come. As soon as we leave the rink, I'm going to call my parents."

By then, however, Brust had been staked to a comfortable 4-0 lead. Kopitar began the festivities with goals 1:53 apart in the first period for his first multi-goal game since his NHL debut in the season opener against Anaheim on October 6.

"It was a good start," Kopitar said. "We usually start it off with one goal down, so I mean, it was easier to start off with one goal up."

Michael Cammalleri tallied in the middle session and Derek Armstrong cashed in early in the third for the four-goal bulge.

Armstrong added an assist and Alexander Frolov set up two goals for the Kings, who had lost four of six, including the opener of the home-and-home set at San Jose on Tuesday.

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and Mike Grier scored for the Sharks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

"We weren't ready to play from the get-go and do some of the little things that you need to do," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "We had a lot of passengers. ... We got better as the game went on, but we just need to hold ourselves accountable."

Entering without a goal in his previous seven games, Kopitar got Los Angeles on the board at 5:05 of the first period. After digging a loose puck from a defenseman's skates in front, the 19-year-old Slovenian drifted to the left side before lifting it over sprawled goaltender Vesa Toskala.

With teammate Brian Willsie in the penalty box for boarding shortly thereafter, Kopitar followed Frolov on a shorthanded rush and - after receiving a pass - deked and slid in a backhander for his eighth tally and a 2-0 lead.

"It's always energy when you get going, when you have a couple of shots in the beginning of the game," Kopitar said. "Luckily, we got an early goal, too, and then a shorthanded (one). That really gave us an energy boost and we kept on going."

"Kopitar was terrific in the first period with the two goals he scored," Crawford said. "He should have had a third one, but Toskala kicked his feet out from under him when he had him beat."

Cammalleri netted his third goal in as many games at 2:08 of the second, converting a shot from the slot after defenseman Brent Sopel's wrister from the left point bounced off the end boards and over the top of the net.

Armstrong made it a four-goal lead 88 seconds into the third, when he walked out from the left corner and put the puck past Toskala.

"I guess we weren't quite ready," Toskala said. "We weren't hungry enough. That's pretty much the main reason, didn't come ready to play."

Ehrhoff spoiled Brust's shutout bid at 9:59 with a wrister from the right faceoff circle during a power play.








  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES AT SAN JOSE
    NOTE: RESENDING BOX TO CORRECT SCORING PLAYS.

    Dec 20 12:02 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - MIKE GRIER 7 (MARK BELL, PAT RISSMILLER) 16:37

    Dec 20 12:02 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 2 1 1 4
    SAN JOSE 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 7 (DUSTIN BROWN, KEVIN DALLMAN) 5:04
    LOS - (SH) ANZE KOPITAR 8 (ALEXANDER FROLOV) 6:58
    2ND PRD: LOS - MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 13 (BRENT SOPEL, DEREK ARMSTRONG)
    2:08
    3RD PRD: LOS - DEREK ARMSTRONG 6 (ALE

    Dec 15 1:01 AM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - MIKE GRIER 7 (MARK BELL, PAT RISSMILLER) 16:37

    Kings vs. SharksDec 15 12:53 AM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    SAN JOSE 1
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF 6 (STEVE BERNIER, MATTHEW CARLE)
    9:59

    Kings vs. SharksDec 15 12:38 AM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 4
    SAN JOSE 0
    3RD PRD: LOS - DEREK ARMSTRONG 6 (ALEXANDER FROLOV, RAITIS IVANANS)
    1:28

    Kings vs. SharksDec 15 12:24 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 2 1 3
    SAN JOSE 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 7 (DUSTIN BROWN, KEVIN DALLMAN) 5:04
    LOS - (SH) ANZE KOPITAR 8 (ALEXANDER FROLOV) 6:58
    2ND PRD: LOS - MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 13 (BRENT SOPEL, DEREK ARMSTRONG)
    2:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1S

    Dec 15 12:03 AM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 3
    SAN JOSE 0
    2ND PRD: LOS - MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 13 (BRENT SOPEL, DEREK ARMSTRONG)
    2:08

    Kings vs. SharksDec 14 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 2 2
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 7 (DUSTIN BROWN, SEAN AVERY) 5:04
    LOS - (SH) ANZE KOPITAR 8 (ALEXANDER FROLOV) 6:58
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 12 12
    SAN 9

    Dec 14 11:12 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: LOS - (SH) ANZE KOPITAR 8 (ALEXANDER FROLOV) 6:58

    Kings vs. SharksDec 14 10:50 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 7 (DUSTIN BROWN, SEAN AVERY) 5:04

    Kings vs. SharksDec 14 10:48 PM