Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin scored power-play goals, Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and the Los Angeles Kings returned from the holiday break with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Toffoli also scored in the defending Stanley Cup champions' third
victory in four games. The Kings gave a dominant defensive effort in
their NHL lead-tying 14th home win, avenging a 4-0 loss to the Sharks on
opening night that dampened their championship banner-raising ceremony.
Pavelski scored his 17th goal and Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots for the
Sharks, who lost in regulation for just the second time since Nov. 26.
Los Angeles pulled even with its upstate rivals into second place in the Pacific Division standings.
had a goal and an assist on the Kings' once-struggling power play,
which kept on humming after the three-day break. Los Angeles has scored a
power-play goal in five straight games, including multiple goals in
four straight contests for the first time since March 1993.
failing to stay out of the box, San Jose also struggled to get a
consistent offensive push in its second straight loss following a
five-game win streak.
Pavelski put the Sharks ahead just 2:39 in,
capitalizing on a turnover by Justin Williams and a pass from Joe
Thornton for a shot that barely trickled past Quick.
evened it later in the period, snapping his personal 10-game goal
drought on a remarkable cross-ice pass from defenseman Jamie McBain, who
has points in three straight games. Toffoli, Marian Gaborik and Tanner
Pearson have 11 goals apiece to lead the Kings.
scored on a back-side rebound of Gaborik's shot in the second period.
Four of his eight goals in a slow-starting offensive season have been on
the power play.
Muzzin added his sixth goal with a heavy shot on another power play early in the third.