Series (Game 4 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Tuesday, October 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, October 28th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 9th
Game 4: Monday, January 4th
Game 5: Monday, January 11th
Game 6: Tuesday, January 19th

Kings 6

(25-15-3, 53 pts)

Sharks 2

(27-9-7, 61 pts)

10:30 PM ET, January 4, 2010

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
LA 3 2 16
SJ 0 0 22

D. Doughty (Kings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 4

J. Quick (Kings - G): Saves: 45, Save Pct.: .957

A. Kopitar (Kings - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Kings-Sharks Preview


Despite an eight-game winning streak, the San Jose Sharks are not getting ahead of themselves in the tightly packed Western Conference standings. The closeness of the teams in the West is something the Los Angeles Kings are also well aware of.

The Sharks will try to extend their season-high win streak Monday night when they host the Kings, who have gotten excellent goaltending from U.S. Olympian Jonathan Quick in their last two games.

San Jose (27-8-7) last won nine straight from Nov. 13-Dec. 4, 2008. The streak has given the Sharks a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division, while Los Angeles (24-15-3) is tied with Vancouver for seventh place in the conference.

"Take a look at the standings," San Jose captain Rob Blake said. "You win eight in a row but you don't jump way too far ahead of anyone. So we need to keep winning."

The Sharks did that in the opener of this four-game homestand, beating Edmonton 4-1 on Saturday. Patrick Marleau and Douglas Murray each had a goal and an assist while Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves.

"We have to keep our intensity up," coach Todd McLellan said. "I think the game against Los Angeles on Monday is going to be a little bit different. And we'll have to be a lot better."

Joe Thornton added two assists Saturday and has 17 points -- 13 assists -- in his last 11 games. Thornton leads the NHL with 46 assists and 57 points.

Los Angeles slowed down another one of the league's top scorers Saturday, holding Alex Ovechkin without a point in a 2-1 victory over Washington. Quick made 26 saves.

Quick -- named to the Olympic team Friday -- stopped 29 shots in a 5-2 victory at Minnesota on Thursday. Los Angeles' back-to-back wins have followed a four-game skid.

"The last two games have been character games," coach Terry Murray said. "Today it was against one of the premier teams in the game and the top offensive team in the league. So we had to come out and play with the right attitude and play intelligently."

Michal Handzus had a short-handed goal early in the third period to put the Kings ahead and Ryan Smyth scored on the power play.

Los Angeles is 2-0-1 against San Jose this season, taking the last meeting 5-4 in overtime at HP Pavilion on Dec. 9. Dustin Brown scored the winner and backup Erik Ersberg made 30 saves for the Kings.

"San Jose's gonna be a huge challenge again," Terry Murray said. "They're one of the top teams in the game, tops on this side. We won the last time in there, but at the end it came down to real good goaltending by Ersberg to pull it out by us."

Quick, 2-0-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average in his career against the Sharks, is expected to start Monday.

Thornton has five assists against the Kings this season. Nabokov, though, posted a 3.79 goals-against average in the three meetings despite going 1-0-1.