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The Los Angeles Kings have won three straight home games in impressive fashion. Their next opponent, however, has a considerably more notable streak going.
The NHL-leading San Jose Sharks try for their 14th straight game without a regulation loss when they visit Staples Center on Monday.
San Jose (24-3-2) has been nearly unbeatable during its torrid start, going 11-0-1 in its last 12 games and 18-1-2 in a 21-game stretch dating to Oct. 25.
Only one Western Conference team - defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit - is within 10 points of the Sharks.
"It's fun," center Marcel Goc said. "We like winning and we want to keep doing it. Detroit is right there and we don't want them catching us."
First-year coach Todd McLellan's club easily leads the league with 3.69 goals per game and ranks third with a 2.34 goals-against average. San Jose is averaging nearly 10 more shots on goal per game than its opponents, and already has five 10-goal scorers and seven players with 20 points or more.
Even when things haven't gone well for the Sharks, they've often found a way to win. They trailed 3-1 midway through the second period Saturday, but battled back for a 5-4 victory over visiting St. Louis.
Captain Patrick Marleau's second goal of the game broke a tie with about five minutes left, improving San Jose to 16-0-2 at home.
"We feel like we're never out of it," said Marleau, who's shifted from center to left wing and has 15 goals after totaling 19 in 78 games last season. "When we find ourselves down a couple of goals, we remind ourselves to stick with the game plan."
The Sharks will try to carry that momentum over to their three-game road trip, which takes them to Columbus on Wednesday before a showdown with the Red Wings on Thursday.
First, they'll focus on the Kings (13-12-4), who also come in with confidence following back-to-back victories. After beating St. Louis 6-2 on Thursday, Los Angeles put 43 shots on goal in a 3-1 win over Minnesota on Saturday to extend its home winning streak to three.
The Kings have outscored opponents 12-3 during that span.
Anze Kopitar and Michal Handzus scored on the power play Saturday and Dustin Brown added a pair of assists for the Kings, the only team allowing fewer shots per game (26.0) than San Jose. The Sharks are giving up 26.1.
"I don't think we expected to come out and get 40 shots against a team that has given up the fewest goals in the NHL, but it was important to come out and play our game," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We knew coming off the St. Louis game that we had a little bit of momentum and we wanted to build on it."
Erik Ersberg made 16 of his 33 saves in the third period to improve to 7-1-2 with a 2.12 GAA at Staples Center this season. He's faced the Sharks once, making 32 saves in the Kings' 4-2 home win April 3.
With Jason LaBarbera in net for Los Angeles, San Jose started the Kings' season by sweeping a home-and-home series Oct. 11-12. The Sharks earned a 1-0 road victory in the finale as Brian Boucher stopped 21 shots for San Jose.
The Sharks are 18-7-1 against the Kings since the lockout - 10-3-0 in Los Angeles.
They'll have to play without Jeremy Roenick for the next three weeks, though, after the veteran center injured his shoulder in a 2-0 win over Anaheim on Thursday.
Tonight’s Sharks game at Los Angeles is a non-televised game. However, as is the case with all games, Sharks fans will be able to listen to live “radio only” coverage of the game with Dan Rusanowsky and Jamie Baker on 98.5 KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network.
Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time with the popular “Sharks Warm-Up” pre-game show, live from Staples Center. Face-off is at 7:30 Pacific Time.
The flagship station of the Sharks Radio Network is 98.5 KFOX (KUFX-FM) with Bay Area coverage.
Fans with Comcast digital cable television can tune in to channel 975 in most of the Bay Area and receive the KFOX broadcast. This will be especially important for Sharks fans in areas of Contra Costa County such as Walnut Creek and Concord, and parts of Sonoma County such as Healdsburg.
In addition to 98.5 KFOX, tonight’s game is also scheduled to air on the following seven Sharks Radio Network affiliate stations:
o KAHI 950 AM, Auburn (coverage includes parts of Sacramento)
o KATA 1340 AM, Eureka-Arcata
o KFIG 1430 AM, Fresno
o KXBX 1270 AM, Lakeport
o KESP 970 AM, Modesto
o KOMY 1340 AM, Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz
o KVON 1440 AM, Napa (coverage includes Marin County)
Due to other broadcasting commitments, tonight’s game is not scheduled to air on these 4 Sharks Radio Network affiliate stations:
o KBKY 94.1 FM, Merced
o KHTK 1140 AM, Sacramento (station is streaming the game live via internet)
o KRKC 1490 AM, King City
o KFPT 790 AM, Clovis (coverage is on sister station KFIG 1430)
All games can be heard on the Internet. Fans can access the game at www.sjsharks.com, www.nhl.com, www.kfox.com, and Sharks Radio Network affiliate websites such as www.khtk.com, www.1340komy.com.
Our affiliate station in Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz, KOMY 1340 AM, also provides the ability to listen on your cell phone. Go to www.1340komy.com for details.
You can always check the Sharks Radio Network schedule by going to www.sjsharksradio.net and clicking on the individual station of your choice.
LIMITED EDITION SHARKS-NICKS BOBBLEHEAD
The San Jose Sharks are introducing a limited edition collectors set of custom mini bobbleheads called Shark-nicks.
These hand crafted and hand painted bobbleheads feature some of your favorite San Jose Sharks players with their locker room inspired nickname.
The Evgeni Nabokov “Nabby” bobblehead is available now and comes with the special hockey rink stand that holds all eight bobbleheads.
Other bobbleheads will be released individually every three to four games.
Collect all eight Sharks bobbleheads and own the complete set.
This is an Arena Exclusive bobblehead set and can be purchased only at the Sharks Store at HP Pavilion at San Jose or at the merchandise stands during Sharks games.
For more information, call the Sharks Store at 408-999-6810.