Dec 28, 2014 1:05 AM
LOS ANGELES (AP) - 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.
Tyler 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.
Joe 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.
Kopitar 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.
While 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.
Toffoli 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.
Kopitar then 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.
NOTES: Kopitar was in serious pain when he went to the Kings' dressing room in the second period after apparently getting clipped by two Sharks' sticks in front of the net. He returned moments later. ... The Kings have won nine of their last 11 regular-season home games against the Sharks. ... Los Angeles matched Tampa Bay and Toronto for the NHL lead with 14 home victories.
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