SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 27: Goalie Antti Niemi #31of the San Jose Sharks makes a save on the rebound shot of Kevin Westgarth #19 of the Los Angeles Kings during an NHL hockey game at the HP Pavilion on December 27, 2010 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Trevor Lewis broke up a scoreless game early in the third period and Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for his fourth shutout this season, leading the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.
Dustin Brown scored twice and former San Jose forward Marco Sturm also scored in the third as the Kings broke open a close game to snap a three-game losing streak to San Jose. Anze Kopitar had three assists.
The Sharks looked sluggish in their first game following a three-day Christmas break, taking more than 12 minutes to put a single shot on net and eventually having their season-long four-game winning streak snapped. They had few good chances all night, with perhaps the best coming on Patrick Marleau's short-handed breakaway that Quick stopped midway through the third.
The Kings were already solidly in control by then, on the way to their ninth win in 12 games. They used another big third period to prolong this run, having outscored the opposition 16-4 in the third during this span.
After being stymied through two periods by Antti Niemi, the Kings finally broke through with their four goals in the third to complete a back-to-back sweep of their California rivals after beating Anaheim at home Sunday.
The first goal was started by Brad Richardson, who had the puck near the boards when Jamie McGinn came in and tried to knock it loose. Richardson came out of a collision with McGinn and Sharks defender Jason Demers and got the puck in front to Lewis, who lifted it over Niemi to make it 1-0.
Just over a minute later, Sturm came skating into the San Jose zone and sent a soft shot on net that trickled through Niemi's pads to make it 2-0. It was Sturm's first goal in four games with the Kings.
Brown added a rebound about 3 minutes later and scored on a breakaway with 2:00 remaining to seal the victory. Niemi stopped all 30 shots in the first two periods before allowing four goals on seven shots in the third.
The Kings thoroughly dominated the opening period but were unable to get the puck past Niemi as the game remained scoreless. Niemi, making his second straight start after sitting three games, stopped Wayne Simmonds in alone in front of the net in the opening minute. He later robbed Brown from in close midway through the period and stopped Justin Williams on a 2-on-1.
Los Angeles had the first 10 shots of the game as the Sharks didn't even get a puck on net until Dan Boyle's shot from inside the point more than 12 minutes into the first period.
Los Angeles had a 15-1 edge in shots at one point before San Jose put some pressure on Quick late in the period. Quick made a tough save against Devin Setoguchi late in the period and then helped kill off a power play that went into the second.
The play was much more even in the second but neither team was able to solve the opposing goalie. Niemi once again had to turn away good scoring chances from the Kings, stopping Lewis in close with the pad and robbing Alec Martinez with a glove save.