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Kings stay hot with win over Sharks
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Carter had one goal and an assist and Martin Jones made 31 saves as the Los Angeles Kings cruised to a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center.
Tyler Toffoli and Dwight King also added one goal and a helper and Alec Martinez finished with a goal for the Kings, winners in eight of their last nine games.
"I don't think our team ever really struggles with confidence. It does not really matter what the score is, I don't think confidence is an issue for our team," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
Patrick Marleau scored the Sharks lone goal. San Jose has dropped six of its last eight.
Antti Niemi allowed all four goals on 32 shots.
"I think Niemi is like some others on our team, some go-to guys that have to step up. He knows that, we know it, his teammates know it. But we are talking about one individual who wears the [goalie] pads. There are some others who didn't have a very good night. The focus can't just go on him," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan.
Martinez broke a scoreless tie 5:26 into the middle session with his wrister from just inside the blue line near the left boards.
Toffoli found the back of the net at 11:15 when he took a pass at center ice from Slava Voynov and skated in virtually alone before beating Niemi.
Carter tipped in a King pass just 36 seconds into the third and King beat Niemi with a snap shot off a Carter pass for a 4-0 lead.
Marleau's marker with 2:10 left accounted for the final difference.
Carter has 10 goals and 20 points this season ... The Kings were 0-for-1 on their only power play chance, but killed off all four San Jose power plays ... Marleau has 16 goals this season.
12/20 02:19:47 ET