James Reimer’s 200th career NHL victory will have to come another day.
Reimer made 33 saves, including 28 in the first two periods, but Gabriel Vilardi and Drew Doughty both scored third-period goals as the Los Angeles Kings handed the Sharks a 4-3 loss on Wednesday in a closely fought game at Crypto.com Arena.
The Sharks tied the game 2-2 on a power play goal by Timo Meier with 9:49 left in regulation. But after Vilardi’s goal with 7:20 left, Doughty beat Reimer with a top-shelf wrist shot on an odd-man rush 53 seconds later, helping the Kings sweep the three-game season series with their Northern California rivals.
The Sharks also lost 5-2 to the Kings on Nov. 25 at SAP Center and 3-2 in a shootout in Los Angeles on Dec. 17.
Meier assisted on Alexander Barabanov’s seventh goal of the season with 2:06 left in the third period, but the Sharks couldn’t find the equalizer as their record this season against Pacific Division teams fell to a dismal 2-7-6. They host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.
Combined with their 1-0-3 mark against the Anaheim Ducks, the Sharks went a combined 1-2-4 against both of their Southern California rivals.
The Sharks had to play the final two periods without defenseman Scott Harrington, who left the game after the first period for unspecified reasons.
Nick Bonino also scored for the Sharks (13-22-8) as his fifth of the season came just 1:20 into the second period after Kings goalie Pheonix Copley misplayed the puck in front of his own net.
The Kings took the lead back at the 6:58 mark of the second period as Quinton Byfield tipped a Mikey Anderson shot past Reimer for his first goal in 16 NHL games this season.
Wednesday’s game marked the ninth time this season that the Sharks have played on back-to-back nights. San Jose, which was coming off a 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, had a 3-5-0 record in those situations before the game against the Kings.
Reimer picked up his 199th NHL victory on Dec. 22 in the Sharks’ 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center. In his three appearances since Reimer had gone 0-3-0 with a .833 save percentage to fall to 7-12-3 on the season before Wednesday.
Reimer’s career record, in 455 games, is 199-161-56.
In the first period against Los Angeles, Reimer had to make 21 saves as the Kings dominated the second half of the period and took a 1-0 lead.
Kings forward Quinton Byfield skated around Erik Karlsson inside the Sharks zone and went behind the net before he sent a pass out front to Adrian Kempe, who got his stick free and tapped it past Reimer for his 18th goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Jaycob Megna had lef the far-side post and was unable to get a stick on Byfield’s centering pass.
The Sharks had just eight shots in the first period, including just one in the final 10:24.