Video: Kings keep rolling with victory over Sharks at Levi’s Stadium

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The stage was great, and so were the stakes.

In a battle at Levi’s Stadium, in front of more than 70,000 hockey fans, the L.A. Kings moved back into third place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 win over the host San Jose Sharks in a physical, intense game between two California rivals.

Marian Gaborik scored the winner, beating Antti Niemi with a slap shot that found its way under the left arm of the Sharks goalie.

“Yeah, it’s definitely special. It was my second outdoor game,” said Gaborik.

“It’s been fun in terms of putting pucks into the net. But it definitely feels good to get the goal. So brought us each two points, and it was a fun game tonight.”

With the victory, the Kings have won seven games in a row. They’re serving notice to the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Sharks have fallen out of the top eight in the conference, as the playoff race heats up.

“Well, we’ve been very inconsistent this year. The last seven games we played some good hockey,” said Gaborik. “We played some Kings hockey like we know how to play, and we’ve been getting great goaltending throughout the team everybody is contributing.”

The Kings began this streak on Feb. 7. It followed a three-game losing streak, and seven losses in eight games.

Back on Feb. 6, the Kings were 12th in the conference, and five points back of the Vancouver Canucks for the final Wild Card spot.

“If you look at our schedule, we have a two-game trip for us, and we have 14 road games and 12 division games so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on where we are right now,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter.

The Sharks got off to a slow start under the lights of Levi’s Stadium, but were much stronger through the middle part of the game. However, Gaborik’s early goal in the third period turned the momentum in favor of the Kings, who were able to hold on in the final minute.

“We were disappointed in the outcome. I’m not disappointed in the effort and what our group put into the game,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

“We would have preferred to win. It was a hard-fought game by two good teams that played a pretty even match. So the outcome is very disappointing, but everything else we’re proud of. I think our city and Northern California has to be extremely proud.”

Video: Gaborik’s third-period goal extends Kings’ winning streak to seven games

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The L.A. Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, are making a statement as they fight back into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Marian Gaborik scored the winner on a slap shot that somehow beat Antti Niemi at the 4:04 mark of the third period, as the Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks by a final score of 2-1 before 70,205 fans at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday.

That’s now seven consecutive wins for the Kings, who move to 68 points, which ties them with the Sharks, who entered the game holding that final Wild Card spot in the West.

The Kings, with games in hand on Calgary and San Jose, move into third in the Pacific Division.

Video: Heavy hitting continues between Sharks and Kings

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Might need a few ice packs after this game at Levi’s Stadium. The heavy hitting has been a constant theme between the L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks throughout the evening.

Take, for instance, this massive collision between Robyn Regehr and Melker Karlsson late in the second period. That’s a rather large run-in with the boards. Karlsson was shaken up but continued to battle with Regehr as the shift continued.

The two teams had combined for more than 70 hits into the third period.

 

Video: Brent Burns evens the score for Sharks

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Seems appropriate that on such a large stage, Brent Burns would score for the San Jose Sharks.

His goal, with 1:04 remaining in the first period, was big. It put San Jose on even terms at 1-1 with the L.A. Kings, after Kyle Clifford opened the scoring less than three minutes in.

Burns’ wrist shot from the sideboards seemed to fool Jonathan Quick. The puck didn’t appear to deflect off anything on its way to the net. Quick got a piece of it, but not enough. That’s Burns’ 16th goal of the season. And it’s game on.

 

Video: Clifford opens the scoring for Kings at Levi’s Stadium

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Kyle Clifford showed off his hand-eye coordination to open the scoring for the L.A. Kings at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday.

Less than three minutes into the opening period against the San Jose Sharks, Clifford deflected Jake Muzzin’s wrist shot from the point, giving L.A. the early lead. Muzzin waited just long enough for Clifford to go to the net, and the big forward made a perfect tip on the shot from right in front of Antti Niemi.