The Los Angeles Kings bid for their third straight win and 11th in the last 14 games on Saturday as they visit the San Jose Sharks in the last game before the Christmas break. The Pacific Division rivals have each won on the other’s home ice this season, with the Sharks carrying a six-game point streak at the SAP Center in San Jose.
Dustin Brown, who has two goals and an assist versus the Sharks this season, celebrated his 1,000th career NHL game on Thursday by scoring 44 seconds into overtime to give Los Angeles a 2-1 win over Colorado on Thursday. “The big picture is really nice, probably something, for me, a memory, it’s nice,” Brown said. “But on a day-to-day, which is the main focus, how you get to the W, we didn’t play very good. But good teams find a way to win when maybe they shouldn’t.” San Jose fashions itself as a good team with a 4-1-2 mark over its last seven games due in large part to its potent power play. The Sharks scored three times with the man advantage in Thursday’s 5-4 overtime victory versus Vancouver, improving to 12-for-33 in that stretch.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), NBCSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE KINGS (22-10-4): Jonathan Quick answered a modest two-game skid with sterling performances in back-to-back outings, turning aside 67 of 69 shots in the process. The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner split his first two meetings with San Jose despite stopping 55 of 58 shots, and owns a 15-10-5 career mark against the Sharks. Captain Anze Kopitar scored two goals and set up another in the first meeting - a 4-1 win on Oct. 8 - and added to his team-leading totals in assists (23) and points (40) by setting up Brown in overtime.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (18-11-4): Kevin Labanc capped a career-high four-point performance by scoring in overtime against the Canucks, increasing his point total to nine (one goal, eight assists) in his past six games. “It felt good, but it felt better winning the game,” the 22-year-old Labanc said of his first goal in 24 games. Former King Martin Jones hasn’t been feeling good after permitting at least four goals in six consecutive games (1-3-2 mark with a pedestrian .868 save percentage in that stretch) while fellow netminder Aaron Dell sports an impressive 7-3-1 record with a 1.94 goals-against average this season.
1. San Jose’s Logan Couture, who leads the team in goals (15) and points (26), is expected to sit out with a concussion sustained in a loss to Vancouver.
2. Los Angeles D Alec Martinez has scored a goal in back-to-back contests and joins former Sharks C Torrey Mitchell in recording four points (two goals, two assists) in the last five games.
3. The Sharks recalled D Joakim Ryan from their American Hockey League affiliate in San Jose on Friday.
PREDICTION: Kings 2, Sharks 1