Posted March 13, 2013 on AP on Fox
It's been over a month since the Los Angeles Kings have dropped consecutive games. The San Jose Sharks' slide began well over a month ago. These Pacific Division rivals, however, are separated by only two points in the crowded Western Conference standings heading into Thursday night's opener of a home-and-home set in San Jose. The Kings (14-9-2) and Sharks (11-8-6) have yet to meet this season, with a rematch set for Saturday at Staples Center. Los Angeles is 11-4-0 since its last set of back-to-back defeats Feb. 7-10. San Jose enters on an 0-2-2 slide with a 4-8-6 mark since its seven-game win streak to start the season. Anaheim has an 11-point lead in the Pacific Division, with the division's other four teams separated by four points. Los Angeles has 30 points and San Jose 28. "I think it's important for us to realize that we got off to a rough start and we've been playing better hockey as of late,'' Kings winger Dustin Brown said, "but if you look at the standings, any night you're not getting points, you're falling. That's just the nature of the Western Conference and the shortened season.'' The Sharks seemingly do not have much momentum after Tuesday's 4-2 loss in St. Louis, but they believe they are poised for a turnaround after outshooting the Blues 41-21. "I thought it was one of our most complete games of the year," said forward Joe Thornton, who notched his 20th assist. "If we continue to play like that we're going to win a lot of games." San Jose went 4-2-0 against Los Angeles last season, with three of the wins going past regulation. Patrick Marleau registered a team-best seven points and Dan Boyle a team-high four goals in the season series for San Jose, which has won four straight home matchups. Anze Kopitar led the Kings with nine points while Mike Richards had a team-high four goals. Jeff Carter only played in one of those meetings since the Kings acquired him last Feb. 23. Carter leads the West with 17 goals, although he has failed to score in his last two games. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter felt fatigue was the key factor in Tuesday's 5-2 loss at Phoenix one night after a 3-1 home victory over Calgary. "We were tired, they were fresh," Sutter said. "It's not too hard to figure out." Brown and Richards both scored on the power play against the Coyotes, but that came after the Kings fell behind 4-0. "We've just got to bounce back, go into San Jose, regroup, and get two points there," defenseman Keaton Ellerby told the Kings' official website. Jonathan Quick, who has started the Kings' last four games, went 0-1-2 with a 2.56 goals-against average last season at the HP Pavilion. San Jose No. 1 goalie Antti Niemi is 3-1-0 with a 2.11 GAA in five career regular-season home starts with the Sharks against the Kings. The Sharks' Brent Burns will play his first home game since Feb. 9, returning Tuesday after a seven-game absence due to a lower-body injury. Coach Todd McLellan has moved the defenseman to forward.

Quick pulled in Kings' loss to Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Matt Irwin and Logan Couture made Los Angeles pay for retaliating by scoring power-play goals after Jake Muzzin started a fight to help the San Jose Sharks snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Kings on Thursday night. Couture added a second goal and Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks, who earned just their third regulation win in...

Sharks 4, Kings 3

Matt Irwin and Logan Couture made Los Angeles pay for retaliating by scoring power-play goals after Jake Muzzin started a fight to help the San Jose Sharks snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Kings on Thursday night. Couture added a second goal and Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks, who earned just their third regulation win in 21 games. Antti Niemi made...

Brent Burns to start at forward vs. Blues

Brent Burns will likely return to the Sharks lineup Tuesday night vs. the Blues after a seven-game absence due to an apparent leg injury. But it won’t be at his typical spot on the blue line. The defenseman reportedly will be starting at forward for Todd McLellan. Welp, might be safe to say the Sharks have officially gotten desperate. According to Kevin Kurz and David Pollak, Burns...

Cam Gore: The Brent Burns factor

The Sharks scored four goals for the first time since their fifth game of the season and held on to beat the Kings 4-3. Their newest goal scoring threat came from within the organization as Brent Burns scored one and assisted on the game winner. “He’s an animal out there” was Logan Couture’s description of the way his new line mate Brent Burns played tonight...

Matthew Barry: Kings Rally Falls Short in 4-3 Loss

If last game the Kings were sloppier than a Tijuana hooker, tonight they were as messy as a 2 year old with diarrhea. They started strong but after Muzzin stuck up for Fraser who was sent into orbit by Desjardins, they allowed 2 power play goals. Jonathan Quick was pulled like pork and his save percentage is now as bad as my free credit report dot com score. The best team in...

Getting The Sharks Back On Track

from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News, Here’s what else I heard when we talked about what needed to be done to get things on track or some of the problems that have been exposed in the first 24 games: BRAD STUART Those first seven games – lots of scoring, all victories in one way or the other — not a true indication of who the Sharks are...

Cam Gore: Sharks bring the effort but leave St Louis singing the Blues

The San Jose Sharks brought desperation, intensity, and determination but the hockey gods still sided with St Louis. You could say they were robbed, denied, or had this game stolen from them, either way the Sharks fell 4-2 to the Blues. The final shot count was 41-21 in favor of the Sharks and the scoring chances also fell in favor of San Jose. On Many occasions the shot clock...

Provodnikov attends LA Kings game prior to Bradley fight

Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia made a special guest appearance at the Los Angeles Kings - Calgary Flames game at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on Monday night. Provodnikov took in the action and was presented with a special jersey, as he did a meet and greet with their mascot and hung out at the arena. Provodnikov will be doing his best to make Saturday night's fight...

Rich Clune Now Enjoys The Moment

from Scott Burnside of ESPN, It's the spring of 2010. Rich Clune is sitting on the Los Angeles Kings' bench in the first round of the playoffs as the Kings take on the Vancouver Canucks. The Toronto native is in the NHL. He's on "Hockey Night in Canada." He's living the dream. Except his legs are cramping up because he's not sleeping and he'...

Matthew Barry: Kings/Buffalo Talking Trade?

Per Dennis Bernstein tweet - "Kings and Sabres are in trade talks. A league source says LA will trade with Buffalo. We shall see." Based on the mistakes that the overworked Rob Scuderi made last night as well as Darryl Sutter calling out Alec Martinez two nights ago and then benching him last night, Sutter might be bringing back an old familiar face in Robyn Regehr ...

Blues host Sharks on FOX Sports Midwest

(AP) -- After two overtime losses in two days, the San Jose Sharks are in the midst of another frustrating losing streak. Tuesday night will provide them not only with a chance to end their latest slide, but also an opportunity to avenge one of those defeats. San Jose will visit the St. Louis Blues, who got a hat trick from Vladimir Sobotka and an overtime winner from Patrik Berglund...
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