The Los Angeles Kings have posted mixed results lately despite a red-hot power play unit.
They likely won't be able to rely on the man advantage Saturday night against the visiting San Jose Sharks, who have been exceptional on the penalty kill recently.
Los Angeles (17-11-7) has revived its power play, scoring eight times on 19 opportunities over the last four games. It had converted 3 of 32 chances during a 4-4-2 stretch from Nov. 25-Dec. 14.
The Kings have split their last four games, however, and lost 4-3 in overtime Monday against Calgary despite scoring on both power plays.
Los Angeles let Johnny Gaudreau complete a hat trick with two goals in the final 2:12 of regulation, then surrendered Mark Giordano's winner at the 4:07 mark of overtime to fall to 12-1-2 when leading after two periods.
"Our power play was good, our penalty kill was good, and our five-on-five probably wasn't what it needed to be," said captain Dustin Brown, who is a minus-six over his last six games. "As a result, we let a lead slip away. It's a divisional game, and at the end of the day it cost us two points."
The Kings, who had been 9-0-0 at home when scoring a power-play goal, are looking to avoid consecutive home losses for the first time this season.
San Jose (19-11-5) had won nine of 10 prior to Monday's 3-2 overtime loss at league-leading Anaheim. The Sharks allowed the tying goal with 4:16 left in regulation after taking the lead on Melker Karlsson's first career goal eight minutes earlier. Ryan Kesler scored the winner 58 seconds into the extra period.
They've dropped four of their last five games to go past regulation.
"A win would have been great. That's what we come here for," coach Todd McLellan said. "I think we have to take some satisfaction in knowing that we came from behind and couldn't quite hold on... We left with a point. We'd love to have two. You have to give the other team credit sometime too."
Joe Pavelski has four goals and two assists in his last six games after recording his 16th goal in the third period.
San Jose held Anaheim scoreless on three power plays and has given up one goal on 18 penalty kills over its last nine games.
Meanwhile, the Sharks' league-best power play has been particularly good over the last 15 games with 12 goals on 42 chances (28.6 percent). The Los Angeles penalty kill has given up eight goals on 17 chances during a 2-2-2 stretch.
The Sharks, who play seven of their first eight games after the Christmas break against teams currently in playoff position, snapped a four-game losing streak in Los Angeles with a 4-0 victory there on Oct. 8. Antti Niemi stopped 34 shots while Tommy Wingels scored twice and Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist.
Los Angeles' Marian Gaborik has scored in five straight games but has one goal in his last seven meetings with San Jose.
Sharks forward John Scott is beginning a four-game suspension without pay after punching Ducks forward Tim Jackman in the second period Monday. Scott was banned two games earlier this season for coming onto the ice to fight Jackman.