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Kings win 4-1 to extend run over Sharks

December 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings extended their mastery of San Jose and moved within a point of the NHL Pacific Division lead with a 4-1 win over the Sharks on Thursday, with goaltender Martin Jones continuing his perfect career start.

Elsewhere, Pittsburgh extended its run of wins to six by downing Minnesota, Alexander Steen’s goal glut continued as St. Louis beat Montreal, and Dallas scored twice in 15 seconds en route to victory over Vancouver.

L.A.’s Jones is a perfect 7-0 to begin his career— conceding only six goals — and made 31 saves while fellow rookie Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist for the Kings.

Dwight King and Jeff Carter also had a goal and an assist apiece for Los Angeles, which has won eight of the past nine against the Sharks. It’s a rivalry that depends heavily on venue, with the home team winning the past 15 occasions.

Kings captain Dustin Brown was ejected for a knee-on-knee hit on Tomas Hertl in the first period and San Jose’s rookie goal-scorer didn’t return to the game.

Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz scored his 19th goal of the season as the Penguins defeated Minnesota 5-2.

Sidney Crosby had two assists — extending his league points lead — for Pittsburgh, which effectively ended the contest by jumping out to a 4-0 lead, and cruised to a sixth-straight victory.

Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta sealed the win when he scored on a third-period penalty shot. Pascal Dupuis and Brandon Sutter each scored for the second consecutive game, and defenseman Matt Niskanen also tallied for Pittsburgh, which has won nine straight at home.

Jason Pominville and Dany Heatley scored for the Wild.

St. Louis’ Alexander Steen scored twice to help the Blues beat Montreal 5-1.

Steen, who signed a three-year, $17.4 million extension earlier in the day, already has 24 goals, tying his career high set in 2009-10.

Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves and improved to 4-0 against his old team.

Chris Stewart, Jaden Schwartz and Maxim Lapierre also scored for St. Louis, while Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadiens, who were playing the first of six successive roady games.

Dallas’ Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour scored goals 15 seconds apart in the first period, leading the Stars to a 4-1 win over Vancouver.

Erik Cole had a goal and two assists for the Stars.

Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul scored in the shootout to lift the Maple Leafs to a 2-1 win over Phoenix.

Troy Bodie scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs while Martin Hanzal netted for the Coyotes.

Tampa Bay’s Anders Lindback made 28 saves and won in his first game against his former team, helping the Lightning down Nashville 4-2.

Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist, while the Lightning also got goals from Martin St. Louis, Teddy Purcell and Richard Panik.

Craig Smith scored both goals for the Predators.

Detroit’s Daniel Alfredsson scored twice, including a power-play score in overtime as the Red Wings earned a 3-2 win over Calgary.

Denver’s Maxime Talbot broke a second-period tie with a short-handed goal as the Avalanche beat Edmonton 4-2.

Buffalo’s Drew Stafford scored the winning goal in the third period to give the Sabres a 4-2 victory against Boston.

Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux scored the tying and winning goals in the final minutes of the third period, rallying the Flyers past Columbus 5-4.

Florida’s Tom Gilbert and Tomas Kopecky scored in the final three minutes to lift the Panthers to a 4-2 win over Ottawa.

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