The Kings returned home and rang in the New Year with a victory over their rivals.
Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty and Tanner Pearson each scored a goal, as the Los Angeles Kings ended 2016 on a high note, beating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Saturday night at Staples Center.
Peter Budaj made 18 saves and Alec Martinez had two assists, helping end the Sharks' four-game winning streak. The Kings stopped a three-game losing streak by breaking out of an offensive funk that sunk their nine-game road trip.
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"I think we have a very good little rivalry going on with San Jose," said Budaj after the game. "They have a very good team and we always play them hard and they always play us hard so it's a big win especially after the three losses we had."
Los Angeles has now earned a point in 12 of 16 games at Staples Center this season.
Brent Burns scored his 15th goal of the season, Kevin Labanc added a goal, and Martin Jones stopped 24 shots for the Sharks, who had won the first two games in the season series by allowing just two goals.
After Burns scored a power-play goal 12 seconds into the third period, Carter responded with his team-leading 20th goal. Carter and Devin Setoguchi had a 2-on-1 break, but Carter held onto the puck all the way and buried a wrist shot to restore a two-goal advantage at 3-1.
Labanc scored with 6:03 remaining to pull within 3-2, but the Sharks could not find an equalizer.
Doughty capitalized on the power play after Burns tripped center Anze Kopitar 32 seconds into the second period. Doughty unloaded from the edge of the near circle, beating his former LA teammate over the right shoulder for his sixth goal and second on the power play to make it 2-0.
Jumping all over the Pacific Division leaders from the opening faceoff, Pearson put the Kings in front 1-0 after 4:17 in the first period. Pearson's ninth goal of the season was a sniper shot from between the circles into the top right corner of the net.
"The key thing is getting the first one and not chasing the lead right off the start," Pearson told reporters after the victory. "It is nice to be home and you know, teams have to come in here and they know that they're coming in here. I think everyone in the league takes pride of their home ice and we've got to be there too."
Jones faced down a 13-6 shot disparity in the first period, as San Jose lost for only the second time in its last 10 games. The Kings kept the Sharks pinned in their own end for the better part of the first four minutes, a stretch broken up only by a fight between Kyle Clifford and Sharks center Micheal Haley that left Haley with a cut on his right knuckle.
Fans in attendance enjoyed a lazer light show to ring in the New Years after the game.
NOTES: Sharks D Marc-Edouard Vlasic did not play after being hit in the face by a puck during Friday's 2-0 win over Philadelphia. The Sharks also scratched C Tommy Wingels and LW Matt Nieto. . The Kings scratched D Matt Greene, D Tom Gilbert and C Andy Andreoff.
Sharks: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Kings: Visit San Jose on Tuesday.