Following a rough ending to a long road trip, the Los Angeles Kings are glad to finally be home, where they'll also enjoy some down time before leaving town again.
The Kings can win seven straight at Staples Center for the first time in three seasons Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks.
This is their first home game since beating Tampa Bay on Dec. 6. Los Angeles (20-10-2) opened a six-game trek with back-to-back victories to extend its overall winning streak to six, then went 1-2-1 the rest of the trip.
"We've just got to get back home," captain Dustin Brown said after Saturday's 5-0 loss at Toronto.
It's only for one game, however. The NHL's three-day Christmas break follows, and then the Kings begin a four-game trip Saturday at Arizona.
"We have one more game before our break, it's a divisional game and those have a little extra weight on them," Brown said.
The Kings have won 11 of 13 at home and yielded only 11 goals in the last six. Los Angeles last won seven straight home games to conclude the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
"We've got to continue that way," said forward Anze Kopitar, who has five points in the last four at home.
Milan Lucic didn't score during the road trip but has five goals during the six-game home win streak. Jeff Carter has a point in each of those games and only had one in the last five of the trip.
Jonathan Quick has won five straight at Staples and is 10-2-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average in his last 12 starts there, but his worst performance at home was a 5-1 loss to the Sharks (16-15-2) on Oct. 7. He should be back in net after sitting out Saturday and is coming off Thursday's 45-save shutout of Montreal.
Quick watched as Jhonas Enroth stopped 39 shots to help the Kings win 4-1 at San Jose on Oct. 22 in the teams' last matchup. Carter had two goals with two assists, giving him eight points in the club' past six meetings.
Ex-King Martin Jones is 1-1-0 with a 2.50 GAA against the team he left this summer to sign with San Jose. Jones made 28 saves as the Sharks dropped to 2-1-1 on a five-game trip following Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss at Chicago.
The Sharks led 3-2 entering the final period but allowed the Blackhawks to tie the game despite recording five shots in the last 20 minutes of regulation.
"I think the whole night we felt pretty good about what we were doing," forward Joe Pavelski told the NHL's official website. "It's just those fractions that are certainly the difference lately. We've got to stay with it."
Pavelski has three of his team-leading 16 goals and four assists in the last four games. He has four points against the Kings this season.
The Sharks have gone 4 for 10 on the power play in the last three games and killed all 11 penalties over the last six.
It's uncertain if veteran Joel Ward - fourth on the team with 23 points - will be available to help on either unit after missing Sunday's contest with an undisclosed injury.
''It's a big hole for us," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said.