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L.A. Kings stop Sharks’ win streak

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March 24, 2011 | Leave Comment

LOS ANGELES — Dustin Brown scored two power-play goals and connected again in the fifth round of the shootout, giving the Los Angeles Kings a 4-3 victory over San Jose on Thursday night and snapping the Sharks’ four-game winning streak.

Patrick Marleau scored the tying goal for the Sharks twice in the final 3:32 of the third period, getting his second with just 4.1 seconds left after Brown’s 25th goal put the Kings back in front with 1:42 remaining in regulation.

Joe Pavelski scored a power-play goal for the Pacific Division-leading Sharks, who tied Central Division-leading Detroit for second place in the Western Conference with the consolation point.

Defenseman Willie Mitchell scored for the Kings, Alec Martinez had two assists and Jonathan Quick finished with 24 saves, improving to 9-0 in shootouts this season and 21-7 for his career.

On Marleau’s first goal, Quick fanned on his seemingly harmless wrist shot from the top of the left circle. On the second, Marleau jammed his 33rd of the season inside the right post after a slick passing play from rookie Logan Couture to Ryane Clowe to Marleau after the Kings failed to clear the puck out of the zone.

Stoll scored the Kings’ first goal of the tiebreaker, making him 8-for-9 this season and tying it after Dan Boyle scored on the Sharks’ first attempt. The game ended when Marleau, the Sharks’ fifth shooter, lost the puck off his stick as he came on Quick.

Los Angeles remained tied with Nashville for fifth place in the conference, three points behind Phoenix. The Kings have eight games remaining, including a rematch with the Sharks on April 4 at San Jose.

Los Angeles was playing its first game since right wing Justin Williams dislocated his shoulder on Monday in a 2-1 shootout win against Calgary. The 12-year veteran, who signed a four-year, $14.6 contract extension on Feb. 28, had played in each of the team’s first 73 games and had 22 goals and 57 points.

Mitchell put the Kings ahead 2-1 at 9:07 of the second period on a 45-foot slap shot from the slot that beat Niemi to the glove side. Oscar Moller’s jam attempt from the right of the crease was kicked out by Niemi all the way to Mitchell, who waited for some traffic to form in front of the net before shooting.

Pavelski, who has three goals and nine assists in his last four games, opened the scoring 35 seconds into the second period while Jarret Stoll was serving a slashing penalty that carried over from the final minute of the first.

Marleau had the puck at the left point and threw it toward the circle, where Pavelski redirected it past Quick’s stick from about 15 feet away. His 17th goal ended the Kings’ string of 35 successful penalty kills spanning 643 minutes and 27 seconds since Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk capitalized on a hooking penalty against Stoll on Feb. 28.

The Sharks, who were short-handed a total of four times over their previous three games, had to use their penalty-killing unit five times against Los Angeles. The Kings were 0 for 10 on the power play against San Jose this season before Brown tied it at 1 at 7:18 of the second while Jamal Mayers was serving a holding-the-stick penalty.

Martinez dumped the puck behind the net from the neutral zone, Alex Ponikarovski got in on the forecheck and beat defenseman Niclas Wallin to the puck before setting up Brown at the edge of the crease for his 24th goal.

The Associated Press

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