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Hot teams face off as Sharks visit Kings

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings will try to extend their season-high five-game winning streak in another encounter with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

The Kings, who have won six in a row at home, will face the Sharks for the first time at Staples since San Jose bounced them from the opening round of last season's playoffs. The Sharks defeated the Kings 2-1 in the season opener on Oct. 12 at San Jose.

"They beat us the first game of the year, so it's time that we owe them," said Kings center Tyler Toffoli, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Kings (12-9-1) have been off since Saturday, when they recorded a 2-1 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples. Carter scored the game-winner, his league-leading sixth such goal of the season, at 1:06 of the extra session.

Carter is on a roll. He leads the Kings in points (19) and goals (10) and is tied for tops in assists (nine). Carter has five goals and three assists in the past five games.

"Carter is playing very good right now, he's working hard and he is a veteran player," Kings goalie Peter Budaj said. "He has done it for many years, he knows what to do. He doesn't get too high or too low. He has to stick to the system and wait for his opportunity."

Budaj believes the Kings are thriving with contributions from several players. He could include himself, as he has 12 wins in 18 starts this season since taking over as the regular. He replaced Jonathan Quick, who is out indefinitely after sustaining a groin injury in the opener against the Sharks.

"It is a combination of everybody, and I think the power play in OT (against the Blackhawks) was moving the puck really well and recovering after the blocks," Budaj said. "It goes hand in hand, but it's a team effort to get a chance to win every night."

In addition to Carter, solid performances from Alec Martinez and Toffoli are boosting the Kings. Martinez and Toffoli are tied for second with 14 points each (five goals, nine assists). Martinez scored his fifth goal, tops among Los Angeles defenseman, against the Blackhawks.

Toffoli recorded a point in four of the past five contests.

The Sharks (13-9-1) are playing the second end of a back-to-back. San Jose seized the top spot in the Pacific Division by a point over the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers when they earned a 2-1 decision in overtime against the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday.

Defenseman Brent Burns scored a power-play goal just 19 seconds into the extra frame. The Sharks won four of five during their just-completed homestand.

It was the first time they defeated the Coyotes in three tries this season.

"They're just tough games," Burns said. "We haven't really found the points from that team this year. I mean, every game is going to be tough. They're no different."

Burns has a team-high nine goals this season. He and center Joe Pavelski have a club-best 21 points apiece. Pavelski and center Logan Couture both have seven goals.
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