In the Crease: Sharks look to extend Kings' losing streak

In the Crease: Sharks look to extend Kings' losing streak
January 27, 2014, 9:45 am
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Joe Pavelski has 10 points in his last five games, including seven goals, heading into Monday's game against the Kings. (USATSI)

Programming note 
Sharks-Kings coverage gets underway at 7:00 p.m. on NBCSN

Where they stand
Sharks: 34-12-6, 74 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference
Kings: 29-18-6, 64 points, 3rd Pacific Division, 6th Western Conference

The latest

Sharks: The Sharks won their sixth straight game on Saturday, 3-2 over Minnesota, behind two goals from Joe Thornton and one from Patrick Marleau. Both players signed three-year contract extensions on Friday. Matt Irwin and Joe Pavelski each had two assists, and Antti Niemi made 20 saves. San Jose wraps up a four-game homestand tonight, where it is 19-2-3 on the season.

[RECAP: Thornton's OT goal extends streak to six]

Kings: Los Angeles dropped its fifth straight game, including the last four in regulation, in Saturday’s outdoor game at Dodger Stadium with the Anaheim Ducks, 3-0. The Kings outshot the Ducks for the game, 36-21, but have just eight goals during their losing streak. The Kings are just 4-10-2 in their last 16 games.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Brent Burns. The Sharks’ winger hasn’t scored in nine straight games, and on Saturday he was bumped down to the Patrick Marleau-Tommy Wingels line. Burns does have 13 points in his last 17 games (5g, 8a), but on Saturday against Minnesota, he had just one shot on goal in 10 attempts at the net. Burns leads the team with a +22 rating, tied for eighth in the NHL.

[RELATED: Sharks' Nieto, Burns trade places for now]

Kings: Dustin Brown. The Kings captain’s night was cut short when he hit Tomas Hertl on Dec. 19, earning a five-minute major and a game misconduct, and he may have to keep his head on a swivel tonight as the Sharks should get a body on him any chance they get. It’s a down year offensively for Brown, with just 16 points in 52 games, but he still leads Los Angeles with 167 hits.

[KURZ: Sharks face Kings for first time since Hertl injury]

Injuries/Scratches

Sharks: Tomas Hertl (right knee surgery), Raffi Torres (right knee surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery), and Logan Couture (right hand) are out. Scott Hannan (upper body) is questionable.

Kings: Matt Greene (upper body) is out.

Season/All-Time series

Los Angeles is 2-0-1 against the Sharks this season, winning both games in regulation at Staples Center. The Sharks took a 3-2 shootout win on Nov. 27 at home. Joe Pavelski, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty all have two goals in the season series.

The home team is 19-0-1 in the last 20 games between the two teams, including playoffs. The Sharks have won their last seven games at SAP Center against the Kings, including four that required extra time.

All-time, San Jose is 66-49-7 against the Kings, with seven ties.

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 3.02 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.31 (4th)
Power play: 18.8 percent (14th)
Penalty kill: 83.5 percent (8th)

Kings
Goals per game: 2.38 (26th)
Goals-against per game: 2.06 (1st)
Power play: 14.4 percent (27th) 
Penalty kill: 84.4 percent (6th)

Probable lines

Sharks
Matt Nieto – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Tommy Wingels – Patrick Marleau – Brent Burns
Bracken Kearns – Andrew Desjardins – Tyler Kennedy
Eriah Hayes – John McCarthy – Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Jason Demers
Brad Stuart – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle

Antti NIemi
Alex Stalock

Kings
Dwight King – Anze Kopitar – Jeff Carter
Dustin Brown – Jarret Stoll – Justin Williams
Matt Frattin – Mike Richards – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Slava Voynov – Willie Mitchell
Robin Regehr – Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick
Martin Jones

Quoteable

“The Kings and the Sharks always play each other tough. Obviously, we remember what happened with Tomas [Hertl], and we weren’t happy about it. It’s in the past, and now we’ll be ready to go and ready to play them [Monday].” – Tommy Wingels

Burning question

Should the Sharks try and send any type of message to Dustin Brown and the Kings for what happened to Tomas Hertl, or should they focus solely on winning the game?

Leave your answer in the comments section below.