LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings caught the San Jose Sharks with one eye on the postseason and gave them quite a wake-up call, along with a valuable dose of humility.
Anze Kopitar scored twice in the final 5:38 to lead the Kings to a 4-2 victory over playoff-bound San Jose, handing the Sharks their first regulation loss in 21 games.
"Twenty games is an incredible streak. There's nothing more I can say about it. It's phenomenal," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.
"I mean, we're the only team in NHL history to go the whole month of March (without a regulation loss). It's virtually impossible, but we did it."
Brian Willsie and Raitis Ivanans, who totaled seven goals in the Kings' first 80 games, both scored against Vezina Trophy (top goalie) candidate Evgeni Nabokov before Kopitar got his 31st of the season with 5:38 remaining for the go-ahead goal and added an empty-netter with 4 seconds left.
"It felt good to get a win, especially against this team," Kings rookie goaltender Erik Ersberg said after making 32 saves. "They've gone 20 games without a loss so it's good that we could break that streak. It was a fun game."
The loss was the Sharks' first that didn't involve overtime or a shootout since Feb. 20, when the New Jersey Devils beat them 3-2 in Newark. San Jose lost to Edmonton on March 16, snapping a franchise-best 11-game winning streak, then lost in overtime four games later at Phoenix on Martin Hanzal's overtime goal.
"It's probably good that it happened that we lose a game before the playoffs. Sometimes you just need to refocus," Nabokov said. "We need to get back on track and get going again."
By dropping their next-to-last game of the regular season, the Sharks won't become the first post-1980 expansion team to put together back-to-back 50-win seasons. Nor will Nabokov get a chance to tie the NHL record of 47 victories set last season by New Jersey's Martin Brodeur.
ELSEWHERE -- Alex Ovechkin broke Luc Robitaille's single-season NHL record for most goals by a left wing with his 64th and 65th scores in Washington's 4-1 victory over visiting Tampa Bay. ... Jaromir Jagr scored two power-play goals in a 2-minute span of the first period, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 25 shots and the New York Rangers clinched an Eastern Conference playoff berth with a 3-0 victory over the host New York Islanders. ... Bryan Smolinski scored twice, Carey Price came within 8:30 of posting his second consecutive shutout, and Montreal's 3-1 win eliminated visiting Buffalo from the playoff race. ... Henrik Zetterberg wrapped up the Presidents' Trophy (most team points) for host Detroit, scoring with 11 seconds left in a 3-2 win over Columbus. With 113 points, the Red Wings earned home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. ... Marian Gaborik scored two third-period goals to help Minnesota top visiting Calgary 3-1 and win the first division title in the franchise's seven seasons. ... Antoine Vermette's hat trick helped Ottawa move within a point of wrapping up a playoff berth with an 8-2 win over host Toronto. ... J.P. Dumont scored the tying goal and assisted on the game-winner as Nashville beat visiting St. Louis 3-2. ... Dwayne Roloson made 13 of his 37 saves in the third period, and Edmonton knocked host Vancouver out of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory. ... Brenden Morrow scored and added an assist to lead Dallas, which secured no worse than the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 4-2 road win over Phoenix.