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The Sharks won their first exhibition game of the 2022-23 season this past Sunday at the Tank in Downtown San Jose. Sharks Forwards Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl picked up right where they left off last season, getting a pair of points each against the Kings. The first assist for both Timo and Tomas was earned on Luke Kunin's first-period goal. Meier's lead pass into the offensive zone and off the boards to Hertl, followed by a beautiful saucer pass across the slot, set up Luke Kunin to tip the puck past LA's Jonathan Quick. The Sharks finished the first period with a 1-0 lead.

Neither team scored in the second period, but there was no shortage of opportunities for Los Angeles as San Jose was called for 6 minor penalties in a 9-minute span. Most of the penalties on the Sharks were cross-checking and roughing, the chippy type of play expected in a Nor Cal - So Cal rivalry game featuring young and hungry prospects playing for a roster spot.

With so much time spent on penalty kills, the Sharks only generated 5 shots on the net, leaving Quick rather unbusy in the second period. In the opposite crease, Kaapo Kahkonen posted 20 saves in the 2nd period- an unofficial career high, unofficial being that its preseason hockey. Regardless of the stats not sticking to the record books, Sharks fans and media are taking notice of Kahkonen's performance as he contends for the starting goaltender role in San Jose.

The Los Angeles Kings didn't go belly up in the Tank and posted 2 goals in the third period, both to tie the game (as they never had the lead). Goals by LA were tallied by Carl Grundstrom and Blake Lizotte. Grundstrom's goal was scored 59 seconds after the start of the 3rd period and Lizotte's goal forced overtime with under 3 minutes remaining in regulation. Hertl, along with defenseman Matt Benning, assisted Timo Meier's third-period goal that was scored in between the set of Kings' goals.

Captain Logan Couture ended the game 3:33 into overtime with a wrist shot that beat LA goaltender Matt Villalta, who was subbed in for Jonathan Quick with a little over half the game remaining. Couture's exhibition game-winning goal was assisted by Erik Karlsson and Kevin Labanc, returning to the main roster nine months after sustaining and successfully undergoing surgery for a shoulder injury. Much to Sharks Territory's surprise and delight, Kappo Kahkoken played the entire game and posted a .956 save percentage with 43 saves.

The San Jose Sharks will face the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, September 27th at 7:30 PM PST at the Shark Tank.

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*Shark City Press is not affiliated with the San Jose Sharks Organization and the stories or opinions featured here are solely those of contributing hockey fans.
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