SAN JOSE -- The Sharks' 12-game cruise through the Pacific Division hit a rough patch Friday night.
Three second-period goals propelled the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Sharks in the second of 12 consecutive games in which San Jose is facing opponents from its own division. The teams meet again tonight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Pacific has been a far cry from last year when three teams -- Anaheim, San Jose and Dallas -- dominated while Los Angeles and Phoenix were buried deep in the division.
With the victory, Los Angeles jumped ahead of the Sharks into first place with 14 points. Kings coach Marc Crawford knows, however, that it's early in a long season.
"We know we've got to work our tails off every night to be effective, especially when you're playing against the redwoods that are the rest of the Pacific Division," he said before the game.
"Dallas and Anaheim and San Jose are big physical clubs. I suspect those teams will all improve as the year goes on, and our job is to maintain our level of play and then find a level of improvement that allows us to be with them."
It was the Sharks' third loss in four home games. But they were flying on offense. San Jose controlled much of the early action and outshot the Kings 21-10 in the first period and 47-30 for the game.
DEVILS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 2, at Newark, N.J. -- John Madden scored a short-handed goal to break a tie with 4:12 to play and Zach Parise added what proved to be a much-needed insurance tally minutes later to lead New Jersey to a victory over Toronto.
David Clarkson added a goal and Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots and picked up an assist as the Devils won consecutive games for only the second time this season.
COYOTES 5, STARS 0, at Dallas -- Mikael Tellqvist stopped 35 shots for his fifth career shutout, Radim Vrbata scored a short-handed goal, and Phoenix routed Dallas.
Niko Kapanen, Daniel Carcillo, Shane Doan, and rookie Martin Hanzal added goals for the Coyotes, who had lost nine of their previous 10 meetings with the Stars.
PREDATORS 4, OILERS 1, at Edmonton, Alberta -- Jason Arnott scored the winning goal in the third period and Nashville won its second straight on the road.
PANTHERS 4, SABRES 2, at Buffalo, N.Y. -- Richard Zednik scored twice and Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves to help Florida beat Buffalo.
FLYERS 3, CAPITALS 2, at Washington -- Daniel Briere, Mike Richards and R.J. Umberger scored to help Philadelphia finally beat Washington, even though Alex Ovechkin scored for the eighth consecutive game against the Flyers.