SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Alexander Frolov had a goal and two
assists in the first period, and teenage prodigy Anze Kopitar added
a goal and an assist in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 preseason
victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
Captain Patrick Marleau and Steve Bernier scored for the Sharks
in just their second loss in seven preseason games. MVP Joe
Thornton, goal-scoring champion Jonathan Cheechoo and young
regulars Milan Michalek and Matt Carle all sat out for the Sharks,
who didn't provide much support for goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Jason LaBarbera made 17 saves for Los Angeles, bolstering his
bid to beat out Mathieu Garon for the Kings' backup job behind Dan
Cloutier. LaBarbera, who got his first NHL shutout at the Shark
Tank in Luc Robitaille's final NHL game last April, made a handful
of outstanding saves in the first period, and gave up Bernier's
goal on a 5-on-3 disadvantage.
Kopitar, a 19-year-old Slovenian forward, improved his case for
a surprising spot on the Kings' opening-night roster.
The 11th overall pick in the 2005 draft played in Sweden last
year, but looked comfortable on Frolov's line as Los Angeles took a
3-0 lead late in the first period. Frolov figured in all three
goals, giving him a team-best seven points in the preseason.
Nabokov stopped 26 shots and received a diving penalty in his
last audition for the Sharks' starting job. Vesa Toskala will play
San Jose's exhibition finale against Calgary on Saturday night.
Scott Thornton, a Sharks forward from 2000 until June, picked up
an assist on Avery's goal. Alyn McCauley, the other former Sharks
forward signed by former San Jose general manager Dean Lombardi in
Los Angeles, hasn't been cleared to play after offseason knee