Kings Look To Extend Winning Streak, Tonight In San Jose

(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will try to push their winning streak to five straight games this evening when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. San Jose is on its longest winning streak of the season thanks to Thursday's 4-1 victory over Phoenix. After allowing the first goal of the game, the Sharks answered with second-period power-play goals from Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton before Patrick Marleau added a pair of tallies in the third period.

Marleau's second of the night and 13th of the season also came on the man advantage as he scored for the first time in 11 games, while Thornton assisted on both third-period goals. "We're finding more consistency within our lines," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "A lot of the things we whined and complained about earlier in the year are starting to come." Making his first start in four games, Antti Niemi came up with 24 saves for the Sharks, who wrap a three-game homestand tonight aiming to win five in a row for the first time since Jan. 16-23.

Antero Niittymaki got the call when the Sharks hosted the Kings for the first time this year on Nov. 15 and made 32 saves in a 6-3 victory. Marleau had a goal and two assists, while Niittymaki improved to 2-0-2 with a 1.92 goals- against average lifetime versus Los Angeles. Niemi, meanwhile, is 3-0-0 with a 1.32 GAA versus the Kings and the Sharks have won three straight and nine of their last 13 games in this series. That includes a victory in six of the last eight played at home versus LA.

The Kings do enter this meeting on a roll though having won three straight games for the second time this month thanks to last night's 4-1 home victory over the Ducks. 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.

"I think it wasn't my greatest game for the rebound, I felt like I gave away a lot of rebounds. But guys were there for me in the right spot there, and I was just trying to make that first save," Bernier said. Los Angeles also improved to 13-2-1 at home this year, but is just 8-10-0 on the road. Bernier also got the call in the earlier loss to the Sharks, making 28 saves, but Jonathan Quick should resume his starting role tonight. Los Angeles' No. 1 goaltender is 3-1-1 with a 2.95 GAA versus the Sharks in his career.

For more Kings news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Jewels From The Crown.

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