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game recap

Jeff Carter, defense lift Kings to win

Forward scores 20th goal; L.A. limits San Jose to 20 shots

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Carter scored his 20th goal to help the Los Angeles Kings defeat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 at Staples Center on Saturday.

The win ended a three-game losing streak for Los Angeles (18-15-4), which limited San Jose to 20 shots on goal.

Carter scored at 3:56 of the third period to give the Kings a 3-1 lead. He has 20 or more goals in 10 consecutive seasons and in 12 of his 13 in the NHL.

Tanner Pearson had a goal and an assist, Drew Doughty scored on the power play, and Peter Budaj made 18 saves for the Kings, who played at Staples Center for the first time since Dec. 10 after nine straight games on the road.


WATCH: All Sharks vs. Kings highlights


"We showed a lot of perseverance, focus and all of that stuff after a tough month with everything to do with the schedules," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said.

Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc scored, and Martin Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks (23-12-1), whose four-game winning streak came to an end. It was the second game in two nights for San Jose, which defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 on Friday.

"As poorly as we played at times, it was a game that we found ourselves at the end of the third period feeling like we could win," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "It was a game where not everybody had their best and we needed to be a lot better. We knew we were facing a desperate team, and it was a frustrating night."

Video: SJS@LAK: Burns scores 12 seconds into 3rd period

Labanc made it 3-2 with 6:03 left in the third period when he got to a loose puck in the left faceoff circle and beat Budaj high. It was Labanc's seventh goal since he was recalled from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League on Nov. 7.

Burns got the Sharks on the board when he scored his 15th goal with a shot through traffic on the power play 12 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1.

But the comeback was preceded by a poor start. The Sharks were hemmed in their own end for most of the first period and took four penalties through the first two. The Kings capitalized by taking a 2-0 lead into the third.

Video: SJS@LAK: Labanc finishes a blocked shot in the circle

"It was our play," Pavelski said. "We didn't break out well. They came out on the hunt early, forechecking and got a lot of pucks in with some speed. We've got to do a little better job handling that."  

Pearson put Los Angeles up 1-0 at 4:17 in the first period with a wrist shot through traffic, and Doughty scored a power-play goal 1:31 into the second period to give the Kings a 2-0 lead.

Goal of the game

Pearson found Carter speeding through the neutral zone, and Carter beat Sharks defensemen Justin Braun and David Schlemko to the high slot for a wrist shot past Jones high to the glove side to give the Kings enough of a cushion to hold off the Sharks' late comeback attempt.

Video: SJS@LAK: Carter beats Jones over glove with wrister

Save of the game

With the Kings hanging on to a 3-1 lead, Budaj got his right pad on Logan Couture's tip-in try with 9:14 left in the third period.

Video: SJS@LAK: Budaj stones Couture from the doorstep

Unsung performance of the game

Dustin Brown screened Jones, allowing Doughty to score his power-play goal with a slap shot the Sharks goalie never saw coming. "It was Brown in front of me. He did a good job kind of taking away my eyes," Jones said.

Video: SJS@LAK: Doughty buries PPG from top of circle

Highlight of the game

Pearson skated untouched into the high slot and scored with a wrist shot that grazed Jones' left shoulder and went into the top right corner of the net.

Video: SJS@LAK: Pearson floats hard wrister through traffic

They said it

"They were desperate, and they needed the win. We knew that, and we were ready. We talked about there was going to be a push early, and there was. I thought we handled it, and then we found a way to get ourselves back in the game. There's no doubt the better team won tonight." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer


"The key thing is getting the first one and not chasing a lead right after you start. It's nice to be home again. Teams have to come in here and know what they're getting." -- Kings forward Tanner Pearson

Need to know

The Kings honored the goal-scorers from the "Miracle on Manchester" in a pregame ceremony as part of their Legends Night series. … It was Carter's NHL-leading seventh game-winning goal of the season, the most he's scored since the 2012-13 season (eight). … Sutter coached his 1,240th NHL game, passing Terry Murray for 14th on the League's all-time list. He also tied Jacques Martin for 13th with his 613th NHL win.

What's next

Sharks: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Kings: At the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)


Video: Pearson, Kings top Sharks, 3-2

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