Preview: Kings at Sharks
The Los Angeles Kings bid to feed off the momentum of milestone nights by a pair of their superstars when they visit the Pacific Division-rival San Jose Sharks on Monday. Jonathan Quick added to his franchise-best totals by collecting his 300th career victory while captain Anze Kopitar netted his 300th goal as Los Angeles breezed to a 4-0 triumph versus Edmonton on Saturday.
The victory was the sixth in nine outings overall for the Kings, who also evened the season series with a 3-2 overtime victory at San Jose in that stretch. Ilya Kovalchuk, who had an assist against the Oilers and will be playing in his 850th NHL game on Monday, capped a two-goal performance Dec. 22 by scoring 2:29 into the extra session against the Sharks to help Los Angeles overcome captain Joe Pavelski's tally with 31 seconds remaining in the third period. The 34-year-old Pavelski has been on a tear since early November, recording 33 (20 goals, 13 assists) of his 38 points over the last two months. Pavelski pushed his team-leading goal total to 25 by scoring in Saturday's 5-2 triumph over white-hot Tampa Bay, giving him eight points (two goals, six assists) during his five-game point streak.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, Sportsnet
ABOUT THE KINGS (17-23-3): Kopitar joined Luc Robitaille (557), Marcel Dionne (550), Dave Taylor (431) and Bernie Nicholls (327) as the fifth King to reach the 300-goal plateau with the franchise after collecting his 10th point (three goals, seven assists) in 13 games. The 31-year-old Slovenian scored in Los Angeles' 3-2 season-opening overtime loss to San Jose to boost his career point total to 53 (18 goals, 35 assists) in 68 career encounters before being held off the scoresheet in the teams' most recent meeting. Former captain Dustin Brown, who had an assist against San Jose last month, surpassed Robitaille (1,077) for second on the Kings all-time games played list on Saturday.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (23-13-7): Brent Burns, who leads the team in assists (40) and points (47), set up three goals in his second straight contest and 10th time in his career to push his point streak to five games (three goals, nine assists). Fellow All-Star defenseman Erik Karlsson set up a pair of goals for his fourth multi-assist performance in five outings and matched a franchise record for most consecutive appearances (12) with at least one point (Rob Gaudreau, 1992-93; Jonathan Cheechoo 2005-06). Evander Kane and Logan Couture each have three goals and three assists during their respective four-game point streaks.
1. San Jose has scored at least five goals in four consecutive contests for just the second time in franchise history.
2. Los Angeles D Drew Doughty notched a pair of assists versus the Oilers, giving him eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last 10 games.
3. Sharks RW Kevin Labanc, who scored in overtime of the teams' first encounter this season, has just one goal in his last 23 contests.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Kings 3