SAN JOSE – Kaapo Kahonen said on the day he signed a two-year out-of-season extension with the Sharks that he wants to become the team’s # 1 goalkeeper.
Kahkonen had the chance to open a dispute on Sunday night and ended with 43 interventions for the Sharks in a penalty-filled 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at the SAP Center in their first pre-season match for both teams.
Logan Couture scored in extra time 3:33 from Erik Karlsson’s pass for the winning goal.
Luke Kunin, acquired off-season from the Nashville Predators, scored 6:25 of period 1 for the Sharks as he redirected Tom Hertl’s nice pass alongside Jonathan Quick. Timo Meier scored the winning goal after 9:50 in the third period, defeating Matt Benning who had passed Kings reserve goalkeeper Matt Villata.
Carl Grundstrom scored 59 seconds in the third period, taking a position near the Sharks line and redirecting Brandt Clarke’s pass into the open net. Grundstrom then assisted Blake Lizotte’s goal in the odd run at 2:35 before the end of the third quarter to draw 2-2.
The Sharks and Kings had 15 power games between them, and Los Angeles ended with eight.
Kahkonen played the full game and had five saving kicks in a relaxed first period, followed by 20 in the second when the Sharks took six smaller penalties. Of Kahkonen’s first 25 saving throws, 13 were fired from the penalty spot.
Kahkonen, 26, finished last season with a record 14-14-4 and 0.912 percent savings. This included the 2-6-1 mark from the Sharks after he and the selection of the fifth round of the 2022 draft were taken over in March from Minnesota Wild for defender Jacob Middleton.
Kahkonen had a whopping 0.916 percent savings in 11 games for the weakened Sharks side, and in July signed a two-year $ 5.5 million contract with the Sharks as a limited free agent.
“I want to be the guy who starts most evenings, and that’s something everyone probably wants to be,” Kahkonen said after the deal was announced. “I don’t think anything has really changed. I’ve always thought that, but at the same time you have to work for it. It’s not just about showing up at camp, hoping you have a good camp. “
Kahkonen and Sharks have little time to prepare for the regular season.
The Sharks will play four more preseason games this week, including on Friday in Vegas and Anaheim. They will then fly to Europe on Saturday and face the Predators on October 7 in Prague during the opening of the regular season.
INJURY UPDATE: The Sharks have their first injury at training camp as winger Alexander Barabanov is now considered everyday with lower body ailments.
Barabanov was injured on the ice on Saturday morning ahead of the planned Sharks Ice fight. Coach David Quinn said after the fight that he thought Barabanov might be back on ice Sunday but he had not been ice skating this morning and was not in the squad for the game.
“He’s fine,” Quinn said of Barabanov ahead of Sunday’s game. – He’s getting better. Today was better than yesterday.
The sharks have a day off from Monday, and on Tuesday they are hosting Anaheim.
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