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Sharks Can't Give Up Any Ground Tonight Against Rival Kings

As previously noted, the next string of games for the San Jose Sharks is a rather important one. They're already four games into their winning streak, which includes a division rival and the current No. 1 team in the Western Conference and now face three Pacific Division foes in a row. Up first is a big chance for some points against the Los Angeles Kings, currently at the bottom of the division but nonetheless a dangerous foe.

The Sharks are set to make the Kings their fifth-straight win, and in doing so, get the longest winning streak they've had this season. Sitting just two spots out of last place in the division, the Sharks would like another couple of wins to at least match their previous six-game losing skid with a six-game winning streak. Fortunately, the Kings are the team that trail by two points and are having, if it's even possible, an even more up-and-down season than the Sharks. Those two points are crucial, especially for two teams that were considered favorites for the privilege of jockeying with each other for the Pacific Division lead.

As stated, the Sharks ride a four-game winning streak, coming off an exciting, high-scoring affair against the Minnesota Wild. Devin Setoguchi scored twice in that game while Benn Ferriero put the game-winner to net in the third period. Logan Couture had the other goal for San Jose in the 4-3 edging of the Wild.

Antti Niemi made 24 saves and will be starting again tonight. He's been the goalie for all four games of San Jose's winning streak, and is the uncontested starter while Antero Niittymaki is out with a lower-body injury. 

The Kings are winners in their last two, posting back-to-back victories for the first time since mid-December. Jonathan Quick was the deciding factor in their most recent victory, a 2-0 shutout over Boston in which he stopped thirty-four shots total. Andrei Loktionov and Ryan Smyth provided the two goals for Los Angeles.

Quick is 4-2-1 with a 2.26 GAA against the Sharks, though San Jose has already taken two of three this season, and 10 of the last 15, including the last three in Los Angeles. 

San Jose is 13-9-2 on the road this year and has won two straight and four of its last five as the guest. The Sharks will play their first game following this weekend's All-Star festivities when they host Phoenix on Tuesday. Following the Break, LA will begin a 10-game road trip with Tuesday's game in Minnesota.