SHARKS (13-6-1) at KINGS (11-8-4)
: CSN-CA (HD), FS-W (HD)
: San Jose 7-2-1; Los Angeles 5-4-1.
: This is the second of six meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. San Jose won the season-series opener by a 4-2 score on Nov. 7 at HP Pavilion. Patrick Marleau
had a goal and two assists in the victory.
: Just one point separates the top four spots in the Pacific Division as both teams failed to gain any ground Saturday night. San Jose came up short in a 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at the Shark Tank, while the Kings suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks at the Staples Center. San Jose's loss allowed Phoenix to move into a three-way tie for first place thanks to the Coyotes' 3-0 win against the Dallas Stars.
: San Jose is still experiencing a tremendous amount of difficulty solving the Canucks, who ousted them in five games in the 2011 Western Conference Final. The Sharks had their four-game winning streak snapped by Vancouver, which received a 43-save performance from Cory Schneider.
"We aren't as frustrated as coaches. Obviously we came to the rink to win, and we are disappointed we lost to a pretty good team," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "It's probably the best we played in the last five, and it's the one that we happened to lose."
: While San Jose is having trouble with Vancouver, Los Angeles is having fits trying to beat Chicago. The Kings lost to the Blackhawks for a seventh straight time Saturday night, as Corey Crawford made 25 saves and helped put an end to Mike Richards
' five-game goal-scoring streak.
"Holding them to two goals is good, but scoring just one goal is not good," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We need to be much better getting the puck to the net. We had four or five good looks and it's just not going in."
: Joe Thornton
(5-16-21), Marleau (10-10-20) and Joe Pavelski
(11-9-20) are all averaging a point per game for San Jose. … With his recent scoring surge, Richards now has 10 goals and 9 assists in 23 games as a King.
: Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki
is out with a lower-body injury. … The Kings are likely to be without Dustin Penner
(hand), Alec Martinez
(upper body) and Scott Parse
: Sharks forward Ryane Clowe
has gone nine straight games without a goal. … Marleau's goal against the Canucks was the first point he's tallied this season in a loss. His first 19 points all came in San Jose victories. … Kings forward Justin Williams
has failed to score in 14 straight games.
: "We played well. We just didn't capitalized on some of the grade-A chances we had. I thought we deserved a better fate." -- Sharks captain Joe Thornton on Saturday's 3-2 loss to Vancouver