Kings 4, Sharks 1

Dennis Bernstein, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Goaltender Martin Jones earned his seventh consecutive victory with a 31 save performance, and wingers Tyler Toffoli, Dwight King and Jeff Carter each a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday.
Los Angeles (24-8-4) beat San Jose for the 12th time in the last 13 games at the Staples Center and climbed to within a point of Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings opened the scoring when defenseman Alec Martinez potted his third goal of the season at 5:26 of the second period. Toffoli gained possession behind the San Jose net and lifted a blind backhand pass to the point, and Martinez's floating wrist shot beat Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi.
Toffoli made it 2-0 when he took a long lead pass from defenseman Slava Voynov and beat Niemi with a wrist shot at 11:15 with Jones notching his first NHL point with the secondary assist.
The Kings extended the lead to 3-0 in the first minute of the final period when Carter notched his 10th goal of the season. King beat San Jose defenseman Justin Braun along the left boards then paused and fed Carter, who beat a helpless Niemi.
King gave Los Angeles an insurmountable 4-0 lead at 6:21 when he converted off a goalmouth scramble that was initiated by a shot from the point by defenseman Robyn Regher. King's 10th of the season is a career-high and he appears to have found a home on a line with Carter and center Anze Kopitar.
Sharks winger Tomas Hertl suffered a knee injury late in the first period when Kings winger Dustin Brown delivered a knee-on-knee hit just inside the blue line. Brown was assessed a five minute penalty and a game misconduct and Hertl did not return to the game after limping to the bench.
Center Patrick Marleau scored the lone goal in the final three minutes for San Jose, which fell to 22-7-5 and is struggling in the month of December, going 3-5-1 while falling to third in the Pacific Division. Winger Marty Havlat earned the long assist on Marleau's team-leading 16th marker.
NOTES: Sharks LW Patrick Marleau played in his 1,200th NHL game. He becomes the 11th active player to appear in 1,200 games and the 16th player to appear in that many games for one franchise. ... San Jose did not dress D Jason Demers and LW John McCarthy . ... San Jose set a franchise record by scoring six times within the game's first 60 seconds. ... The Kings activated C Colin Fraser and returned rookie C Linden Vey to their AHL affiliate in Manchester, NH. ... Los Angeles scratched LW Daniel Carcillo, RW Matt Frattin and D Willie Mitchell. Mitchell missed his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury. ... Two Kings celebrated milestones, D Drew Doughty played in his 400th career NHL game and RW Justin Williams appeared in his 300th game in a Los Angeles uniform.

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