Sharks 4, Kings 3

With one crushing shoulder check, Andrew Desjardins flattened

Colin Fraser and delivered the play that helped give San Jose a

much-needed win in regulation.

Matt Irwin and Logan Couture made Los Angeles pay for

retaliating against Desjardins by scoring power-play goals after

Jake Muzzin started a fight to help the Sharks snap a four-game

losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Kings on Thursday


”He turned the game totally around with that hit,” captain Joe

Thornton said. ”We executed on the power play. We love when he

plays like that, and he just has to continue to play like


Couture added a second goal, and Brent Burns also scored for the

Sharks, who earned just their third regulation win in 21 games.

Antti Niemi made 16 of his 34 saves in the first period and was the

beneficiary of San Jose’s highest scoring game since Jan. 27.

”We obviously needed all of them,” said coach Todd McLellan,

who won his 207th game to break the franchise record set by Ron

Wilson. ”It’s nice to get four. A bit of a relief, a milestone for

us, however you want to put it. Now we have to go and do it again

on the road for the next 10 days.”

The Sharks begin a five-game trip on Saturday in Los Angeles

before ending the season with 11 of 17 at home.

Dustin Brown scored twice and Dwight King added a goal for Los

Angeles. Jonathan Quick was lifted after allowing three goals on 12

shots as the defending Stanley Cup-champion Kings lost consecutive

games for the first time in more than a month.

”Our goals against have to come down,” Brown said. ”You look

at why we were so successful last year, we weren’t scoring a lot of

goals but we were winning games 1-0, 2-1. We really have to tighten

up our D.”

The game turned midway through the second period after

Desjardins knocked down Fraser with a legal shoulder check behind

the Kings’ net.

Fraser called it a clean hit but Muzzin took exception and

started a fight with Desjardins that led to the key power play when

Muzzin got four extra minutes of penalties for instigating a fight

while wearing a facemask.

”I’m not a fighter,” Muzzin said. ”I didn’t like seeing my

teammate get hit like that so I had to do something about it. I

tried my best. I had to look after a teammate. A teammate is

vulnerable like that – you don’t want them running around thinking

they can do that all the time.”

Irwin capitalized for San Jose when he scored on a wrist shot

from the top of the circle, giving San Jose a 2-0 lead.

The Sharks scored again on the second power play when Couture

blasted a shot from just inside the blue line off a blind pass from

Joe Thornton for his 11th goal of the season. That led to the early

exit for Quick, who also allowed five goals in a loss at Phoenix on


Jonathan Bernier kept the Kings in the game when he stopped Adam

Burish on a partial breakaway with Los Angeles on the power play.

That led directly to Brown’s 10th goal at the other end, cutting

San Jose’s lead to 3-1.

Couture restored the three-goal lead in the opening minute of

the third period after Burns caused a turnover to set up a 2-on-0


Brown added his second goal late in the third period, giving him

11 on the season. King scored on a rebound with 3:20 to play but

Los Angeles couldn’t get the equalizer as Niemi stopped Jeff Carter

and Justin Williams in the closing seconds.

”There was some anxiousness,” McLellan said. ”You can tell we

probably haven’t won on a consistent basis and we’re

re-establishing some confidence.”

The Kings thoroughly dominated the first period but ended up on

the short end of a 1-0 score when Burns got to a loose puck in

front of the net and knocked it past Quick for his second goal in

two games since moving from the blue line to forward.

Burns, a former forward in the minors, is excelling in his new

role after being hampered by injuries for much of the season. The

move was supposed to be temporary but Burns’ play might change

those plans.

”He’s an animal out there,” Couture said. ”He’s reckless, but

in a good way. He really doesn’t have to think. He just goes in

there and plays his game. He’s a big body, strong, skates well,

shoots well. I enjoy playing with him.”

NOTES: Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter declined to talk to the

media after the game. … The Sharks improved to 8-1-4 at home this

season. … The Kings had gotten at least a point in their previous

five games against San Jose. … Los Angeles last lost consecutive

games on Feb. 7 and 10 at Nashville and Detroit.