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Sharks continue to dominate Kings with 3-2 victory

Sharks continue to dominate Kings with 3-2 victory
Kings forward Trevor Lewis and San Jose forward Kevin Labanc battle for the puck during the first period of a game at Staples Center on Jan. 18. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Kings won't see the Staples Center again this month. Which might not be such a bad thing given the way they've played there this week, losing consecutive games in regulation on the same homestand for the first time this season.

The second came Wednesday, when the San Jose Sharks rode scores from Brent Burns, Tommy Wingels and Joe Pavelski to a chippy 3-2 victory that saw the teams combine for more than twice as many penalties as goals.

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"Not good enough," defenseman Alec Martinez said after the Kings ended a seasonlong seven-game homestand with four losses. "We were home a couple of weeks and we didn't take advantage the way we should."

Forward Tyler Pearson, who scored the Kings' first goal, agreed.

"When you get a homestand like this you absolutely want to try to string some wins together," he said. "Every team wants to be a good team at home and have confidence at home.

"Under .500 … in the seven games. Obviously, it didn't go the way we wanted."

It didn't start out the way the Kings wanted, either, with San Jose scoring twice in the opening 16 minutes.

The first goal came on a Burns' slap shot from just inside the blue line that struck the stick of Kings captain Anze Kopitar and deflected into the top right corner 3½ minutes after the opening faceoff.

Wingels' score came less than five minutes before the first intermission, when he lifted a soft wrister over Peter Budaj's shoulder and just under the crossbar on the goalie's glove side.

Those goals were sandwiched around one from Pearson, who was stationed on the edge of the crease when he chopped at a long wrister from teammate Derek Forbort, redirecting it between the legs of San Jose goalie Martin Jones 5:46 into the period.

The teams exchanged scores in the second period, with Joe Pavelski taking a rebound off the end boards and jamming it past Budaj for a power-play goal just seconds after the Kings' Jeff Carter went to the penalty box for high-sticking. The penalty was one of 12 on the night. The goal was Pavelski's 16th of the season.

Marian Gaborik answered for the Kings five minutes later, with Kyle Clifford managing to push the puck across the crease and through a crowd to Gaborik, who slipped his shot inside the far post.

That made it a one-goal game heading into the final period, but the Kings would get no closer.

"When it's that close going into the third period, you need your top guys to step up and make a difference in the third and that wasn't the case," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said.

In fact, the Kings tested Jones with just five third-period shots as San Jose won for the fourth time in six games.

"We have to be better in our preparation and getting ready for big games," defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "This was a huge game for our team and we came out a little flat. Not the energy and attitude that we needed to set the tone and get the two points."

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The Kings will try to find those missing intangibles on a four-game East Coast trip that beings Saturday against the New York Islanders.

Staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this report.

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11

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