San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots and the San Jose Sharks edged the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1, on Thursday.
The win for San Jose gives the team 107 points, one back of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division. However, the Ducks have two games in hand on the Sharks.
Los Angeles is now locked into the third spot in the Pacific Division and will be the guest in its first-round playoff matchup.
Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who have won their past two games.
"The opponent, the environment, what's on the line, it brought the best out of us," San Jose head coach Todd McLellan said.
Jordan Nolan had the only goal of the game for the Kings, who had won seven of eight coming into the game. Martin Jones gave up both goals on 21 shots in the loss.
Also, Los Angeles saw defenseman Drew Doughty leave the game in the first period with a possible shoulder injury after checking Tyler Kennedy.
"Obviously it's too bad, but we have lot of guys that can step up here and kind of play some more minutes and help the team," Nolan said of the injury to Doughty.
Trailing by a goal in the second period, San Jose tied the game on the power play as Joe Thornton won a left circle faceoff and Burns grabbed the puck. He passed it over to Dan Boyle, who immediately sent it back to Burns for a one- timer blast into the net at 7:15.
Just under five minutes later, the Sharks took a 2-1 lead after Patrick Marleau's shot from the right circle was stopped and Couture grabbed the rebound behind the net, wrapping it in from the left side for his 21st of the year.
From there, Niemi made the lead stand as he stopped nine shots in the second period and eight in the third, including a point-blank shot from Anze Kopitar in the final minute with the Kings skating 6-on-5.
The Kings scored 3:36 into the game when a shot from Alec Martinez was tipped first by Jarret Stoll then by Nolan for his sixth of the year.
The Kings, who opened a four-game road trip, play in Vancouver on Saturday ... San Jose hosts Nashville on Saturday ... The Kings won three of the five games against the Sharks this season.