Devin Setoguchi scored the lone goal of the game off assists from Kent Huskins and Marc-Edouard Vlasic for the Sharks, who have won their past two contests.
"To keep that team off the scoreboard was a pretty good accomplishment on our behalf," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "Half way through the night we weren't happy with our game, but we picked it up in the third, we started to get engaged a little more physically, win a few more battles and found a way to get one."
Jonathan Quick turned aside 18 shots for the Kings, who have dropped their past three games.
"The second half of the year everyone's playing for points and it's the new year and we're right there in the pack," said Kings forward Dustin Brown. "There's going to be a lot of games like that, we need to find a way to play that way and score some goals at the same time."
Niemi and San Jose turned aside a Los Angeles power play early in the second when Ryane Clowe was called for delay of game after flipping the puck over the glass.
The game was scoreless till late in the second period when San Jose went ahead as Setoguchi pulled the puck back and used a wrister from the right circle that fooled Quick with 1:06 left in the stanza.
The Kings pulled Quick in the final minute for the extra attacker, but were unable to net the equalizer as Niemi finished the third period stopping eight shots to preserve the shutout, the ninth of his career.
Quick stopped five shots in the first period while Niemi made nine in the frame.
San Jose hosts Vancouver on Monday...The Kings host the Blackhawks on Monday...The Sharks have taken two of the three meetings with the Kings this season.