LOS ANGELES -- Hours before Halloween, the Staples Center once again became the San Jose Sharks' personal haunted house.
A power-play goal by Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar 2:32 into overtime sent San Jose to a 4-3 defeat in a game in which it blew a one-goal lead on three occasions.
Kopitar scored with Sharks defenseman Justin Braun in the penalty box for hooking.
San Jose got its goals from Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, and Drew Doughty, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams tallied for the Kings in regulation.
The Sharks were trying to reverse their fortunes in a building where they were 1-10 in their last 11 games with that lone win coming, 6-5, in a shootout on April 5, 2012 -- the game when an undetected Ryane Clowe played the puck while sitting on the bench.
And it was also their first game against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last spring in seven games, all of which were won by the home team.
"L.A. got in our way. We didn't get in their way," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We have to be able to win in this building and find a way to get one more goal. That's really the difference."
The Sharks once again scored early as Couture found an unchecked Vlasic pinching into the left faceoff circle and he beat Kings netminder Jonathan Quick only 13 seconds into the game.
That lead didn't last long as a turnover by Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin ended up on Doughty's stick in the slot and he beat Niemi to make it 1-1 at 2:32.
But the Kings returned the favor before the first period was up as Slava Voynov and Trevor Lewis failed to connect on a clearing pass that Pavelski ended up firing into the Los Angeles net for a 2-1 lead.
Los Angeles tied the game a second time at 3:15 of the second period when Stoll deflected a Voynov shot past Niemi, then came close to taking its first lead of the game only to have Mike Richards robbed by Niemi's glove save.
With Kings forward Kyle Clifford in the penalty box for crashing into Niemi late in the second period, the Sharks grabbed a 3-2 lead on the power play that followed with a quick touch-pass from Patrick Marleau setting up Couture for a one-timer from the slot at 18:04.
Los Angeles came close to knotting the game for a third time while on a power play early in the third period, but Joe Thornton was able to tie up Dustin Brown's stick and prevent an easy tap-in.
But the Sharks did give up their third one-goal lead of the game on the Kings' next power play as Williams beat Niemi at 12:21 after San Jose took its second penalty for too many men on the ice.
Veteran forward Marty Havlat was in the lineup for the first time this season after recovering from offseason pelvic surgery. With Matt Nieto still recovering from a hand injury, McLellan used Havlat on a line with Pavelski and Tommy Wingels.
In welcoming Havlat back, McLellan also acknowledged the veteran forward with 224 goals in 700 NHL games did have something to prove.
"Marty has proven throughout his career that he's a very capable, high-end NHL player, and that should continue here," McLellan said before noting the Sharks are playing a different style of hockey now. "Can he play his game in our structure, our environment and be effective?" Through two periods, Havlat was held without a shot, but was credited with a hit and a blocked shot.
The Sharks were again without defenseman Dan Boyle, who missed his seventh game after being knocked unconscious Oct. 15 but continues to practice with his teammates. Forward Brent Burns did not make the trip to Los Angeles, but did skate on his own in San Jose; Burns has now missed five games with a facial injury.
Right wing Mike Brown got into his first fight as a Shark when he exchanged a few punches with Clifford at 12:11 of the opening period.
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