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Kings defeat the Sharks in San Jose with big third period

December 27, 2010 |  9:58 pm


Going from famine to feast in the space of a few hours, the Kings scored on three of their first four shots in the third period Monday to turn San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi’s budding masterpiece into a paint-by-numbers work left out in the rain.

Trevor Lewis and Marco Sturm scored on the Kings’ 31st and 32nd shots against the Sharks and Dustin Brown scored twice -- the second a skillful backhand after capturing a puck flipped to him by Anze Kopitar -- to lead the Kings to a 4-0 victory Monday at the HP Pavilion and their first sweep of a back-to-back sequence for the first time in four tries this season.

The Kings, who rode a strong second period Sunday to beat the Ducks, had a surprising amount of energy Monday. From start to finish they played well in front of Jonathan Quick, who made 24 saves to earn his fourth shutout this season and second in three starts. In winning their fifth game in their last six, the Kings ended San Jose’s four-game winning streak and balanced their record against the Sharks this season at 1-1.

The third period was like another game for the Kings, who seemed to solve Niemi at will. Even though they were missing left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, who suffered a lower-body injury Sunday, their overall defensive play more than compensated for his absence.

--Helene Elliott

Photo: Kings winger Kyle Clifford gets sandwitched between Sharks defenseman Derek Joslin and goalie Antti Niemi during Monday night's game. Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images