He hadn't scored in a shootout since December 2007 and hadn't even been tapped on the shoulder to try since December 2009.

But Joe Thornton scored a beauty of a goal in the eighth round of one Wednesday night, and the Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 to move into a tie with the Anaheim Ducks at the top of the Pacific Division.

"Coach doesn't tend to look my way in a shootout," a smiling Thornton said, "but it was nice to be involved in one."

In this case, coach Todd McLellan had a reason, not just a hunch, for his decision to tap Thornton as San Jose's eighth shooter.

"You watch what's happened in front of you, and you have an idea of what your shooters can or can't do. We were beating him with some dekes rather than the shot," McLellan said, referring to Kings rookie goalie Ben Scrivens. "We tried to look for people that could do that."

The game was yet another intense, high-energy battle between two teams that have developed a strong rivalry after meeting twice in the playoffs over the past three seasons.

"Both teams compete hard against each other," Thornton said. "You knew it was going to come down to overtime or a shootout, and it did. You're just happy to get the two points."

The shootout was the second longest for the Sharks since the format was introduced in 2005. The drama built as Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Dan Boyle had scored in the earlier rounds for San Jose, only to be matched by Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams and Dustin Brown for the Kings.

In a sense, it was like that all night as the teams finished overtime deadlocked with the Sharks and Kings each getting 40 shots on net. Pavelski and Thornton also provided the regulation goals for San Jose, and Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty scored for Los Angeles.

Matchups between the Sharks and Kings also have evolved into games where home ice matters. The visiting team has not won in the past 14 games, and the Kings now have lost nine in a row in San Jose.

"It's kind of the same way they've beaten us on their rink, by one goal, comeback, or however it works out," Pavelski said. "We know we can play with them. We had our chances to win there. They are probably saying the same thing here."

The Kings scored on the game's first shot when Mike Richards fired the puck off the back boards and it was steered to Carter, who gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead just 18 seconds into the game.