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Time: 10:30 PM ESTVenue: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, CA, 95113
After ending the longest point streak in the NHL this season, the San Jose Sharks will try to maintain one of the best offensive stretches in team history when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.
The Sharks (23-13-7) are coming off a 5-2 win Saturday night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, snapping their 16-game point streak. San Jose was without injured defensemen Justin Braun (knee), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (wrist) and Radim Simek (concussion), but still held the league’s highest-scoring team to 20 shots on goal.
San Jose has won four of five overall, and scored at least five goals in four straight games for the second time in franchise history.
The Kings (17-23-3) are coming off a 4-0 win against the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Los Angeles held Edmonton to 16 shots on net, its fewest since allowing 15 shots against the Arizona Coyotes on April 2, 2017.
“Two points and now we move on,” said Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. “We’ve got another game, we go to San Jose, so there’s another division game, another team we’re chasing. Got to get ready for that game now.”
The Sharks and Kings have played twice this season and each won 3-2 in overtime.
San Jose forward Evander Kane scored in the first meeting on Oct. 5, his first game against the Kings since he was traded from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 26. He has been one of the hottest Sharks lately.
Playing on the third line with Tomas Hertl and Joonas Donskoi the past five games, Kane has six points in a four-game point streak, including three goals in the past two games.
“Tommy Hertl and Donskoi have done a good job complementing him,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer told reporters after the win against Tampa Bay. “It’s given us three lines of depth and mismatches. When you can have a guy like that playing against a third pair or a third line, we can create some mismatches and we need those.”
Although the Sharks are short-handed on the back end, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson continue to be among the top defensemen in the league.
Burns had three assists against the Lightning to give him 40 on the season, tops among NHL defensemen. Karlsson has at least one assist in the past 12 games.
The Kings will likely pay close attention to Karlsson anyway. Karlsson did not receive a penalty for a violent center-ice hit on Los Angeles rookie forward Austin Wagner in their last meeting on Dec. 22, but he later received a two-game suspension from the league.
Wagner struggled to get off the ice after Karlsson’s hit early in the second period and he didn’t return for the overtime win. Wagner also missed a 4-3 overtime win at the Vegas Golden Knights the following day.
The two most tenured members of Los Angeles, forward Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, continue to be the only Kings who have reached double figures in goals.
Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, both 30-goal scorers in recent seasons for the Kings, have had subpar offensive seasons, but each scored against Edmonton on Saturday.
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Fueled by in-state tensions, Los Angeles Kings-San Jose Sharks games are some of the most aggressive in the entire Southwest region. Make sure you’re in on the action by snagging your cheap Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks tickets today!
A tale of two California cities
The tension between the two started in the early 1990s, when two key events took place. First, the Los Angeles Kings signed on Wayne Gretzky in 1988, a move that would take hockey in California to the next level. Second, the San Jose Sharks franchise was launched in 1991. Despite being a young team, the Sharks proved their relevance early with a shut out against the Kings, emerging victorious with a 6-0 score. In 2011 the in-state rivals met in the first round of the Stanley Cup Tournament. The two traded wins throughout the series, including a dramatic Game 3 where the Sharks went from trailing 0-4 to clinching the game in overtime. The Sharks emerged victorious in the series, though they were eventually kicked out of the playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks. However, in 2012 the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the Sharks from the playoffs on their way to their first Stanley Cup. The San Jose Sharks managed to reclaim some dignity in the 2015-2016 season, when they defeated the Los Angeles Kings on the way to the conference championship.
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