The Sharks have had trouble getting things going early on in games of late, and three day's rest against the Los Angeles Kings, who are coming in on a win streak of their own and a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks just last night. Long layoffs were bad news for San Jose at the beginning of the season, they need to ride all the momentum of their four-game winning streak to shake off the rust early on. Only one of the three days off was a skating and practice day.
Before the Christmas break, San Jose notched a 4-1 win of their own, this one over the Phoenix Coyotes. They failed to start fast in that one as well, falling down one goal until scoring four unanswered to take the win. Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton accounted for the Sharks' lead in the second with power play goals, and Patrick Marleau sealed the deal with two tallies in the third. Thorton notched assists on both of the third period tallies, the first of which was "Patty's" first goal in eleven games.
Antti Niemi was in goal for the Sharks, and will likely be again tonight. He stopped 24-of-25 shots and has been playing much better in recent times, in comparison to how he was doing at the beginning of the season, where he was considered a huge disappointment among the fanbase. San Jose is looking for their fifth win in as many games to close out a three-game homestand.
The Kings are winners in their last three for the second time this month and have their sights set on a fourth when they travel to the HP Pavilion in San Jose tonight.
All five goals in the game came during the second period, with Dustin Brown capping the Kings' four-goal frame. Wayne Simmonds, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams also scored and Jonathan Bernier posted 18 saves as Los Angeles improved to 8-2-1 in December after ending last month on a four-game slide. It will be a clash of momentum, will the Sharks be able to hit the ground running?