San Jose Sharks' Brenden Dillon, left, and Joe Pavelski celebrate a goal by Joe Thornton, right, during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong
December 23, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) When the going got tough for the San Jose Sharks, their top players came through.

Joe Pavelski scored the tying and go-ahead goals 92 seconds apart in the third period, leading the Sharks to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

''There's a reason he's the captain. He was just willing us to win,'' coach Peter DeBoer said. ''He was taking on guys physically who were much bigger than him and going into the dirty areas. When your best player is that honest and working that hard and cares that much, everyone tends to follow.''

San Jose defenseman Brent Burns had two goals and an assist, Joe Thornton added a goal and two assists, and Martin Jones made 33 saves against his former team to help the second-place Sharks reduce the Kings' lead in the Pacific Division to eight points.

''It's an important win,'' Pavelski said after San Jose's league-leading 13th road victory. ''Those guys are ahead of us, so we knew if we could get this one, we could keep (them) in our sights. If they won, it was that much more work we'd have to do. So it was good to get this one. You see what kind of game they play. They get in your way and play a tough game, so you have to keep fighting through it.''

Tyler Toffoli had two goals for the Kings, both set up by Tanner Pearson, and Trevor Lewis also scored. Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots after making 45 saves at Montreal in his previous outing, a 3-0 victory.

''We've given up a lot of goals these last couple of games,'' Toffoli said, referring to Jhonas Enroth's 5-0 loss at Toronto that ended their road trip. ''That's not our type of hockey. We need to find a way back to shutting things down. We need to refocus.''

The Kings made it 3-1 at 17:48 of the second period. Toffoli made Burns cough up the puck in the Los Angeles zone and quickly went the other way in transition with Pearson, who set up Toffoli's team-high 14th goal.

Burns started the comeback 57 seconds later on his first shot against Quick. It was a screened 60-foot wrister from the right point that was set up by Thornton.

''I thought it was a real gutsy effort by us. We almost got pushed out of the game in the first period, and then we kind of regrouped. It's a nice way to go into the break,'' DeBoer said. ''Our record isn't where we want it to be, but I've seen glimpses of some really special things here through the first half.''

Pavelski, who leads San Jose with 18 goals, got the equalizer with 13:54 left in the third on a redirection of Burns' shot while Christian Ehrhoff was serving a high-sticking penalty.

The Sharks' captain put them ahead for the first time with 12:22 remaining, converting Thornton's pass from behind the net while Milan Lucic was off for slashing.

''He's a finisher,'' Thornton said. ''In that 10- to 15-foot range, he knows what to do with the puck. And you saw it tonight with those two goals.''

Burns scored his 14th of the season into an empty net with 1:10 to play.

The Kings outshot the Sharks 21-6 in the first period, but had to settle for a 2-1 lead. Toffoli opened the scoring by beating Jones high to the glove side with a 30-foot wrist shot at 1:40 of the period.

Los Angeles increased the margin to 2-0 at 4:32 when captain Dustin Brown flipped the puck toward the net from outside the right circle and Lewis redirected it past Jones' glove.

''There was a lot of hockey left, so I knew we could come back and score some goals on these guys,'' Jones said. ''That was a gutsy win tonight, especially against a good team that's really good at holding leads.''

The Sharks got on the board when Pavelski passed the puck from behind the net to Brenden Dillon at the left point and Thornton redirected Dillon's one-timer past Quick's stick at the 12:12 mark.

''They came at us hard early, but Jonesy helped us weather that storm and we were able to get that goal to get us into the game,'' Pavelski said.

NOTES: Toffoli had three goals in his previous 22 games after scoring nine in his first 10. ... The only time this season Burns failed to get a shot on net was Nov. 28 against Calgary in a 5-2 Sharks victory. ... Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of Darryl Sutter's first game as Kings coach, a 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim. ... It was the Kings' only home game in a span of 26 days.

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