Sharks send slumping Kings to 5th loss in a row

(Reuters) - The San Jose Sharks continued to torment division rivals Los Angeles with a 4-2 victory on Monday that sent the Kings to their fifth defeat in a row.

After a scoreless first period, the Kings went 1-0 up through Jack Johnson's goal in the second but San Jose (8-4-1) hit back with four goals in a row.

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle scored in the second period for the Sharks, who eliminated the Kings in the first round of last season's NHL playoffs.

San Jose's Logan Couture made it 4-1 in the third period before Anze Kopitar replied for the Kings.

"I like playing against LA, I like the rivalry. They don't like us, we don't like them," Couture told reporters. "Scoring a goal and helping the team win is special."

Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 29 shots as San Jose earned their seventh win in nine games, while Los Angeles (6-5-3) goalie Jonathan Quick had 34 saves.

Niemi underwent knee surgery that kept him out of the first three games of the season but is looking sharper. Marleu added two assists and Boyle's goal was his first of the season.

"I felt like I've been playing tennis with a tennis ball most of the year so far. The puck's been bouncing around a lot," Boyle said. "It was nice to get rewarded finally for putting the puck on net."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)