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Saturday, January 1, 2011
Kings: San Jose holds on for 1-0 victory

By Dan Arritt

The Kings tightened up their defense, limited their opponent’s scoring chances and even kept their starting goalkeeper in the game.

And they still lost.

This time it was a 1-0 defeat Saturday evening against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center, the third straight loss for the Kings.

After getting outscored, 13-7, in the previous two games, their performance against San Jose could almost be viewed as a step forward, but the Kings are still in danger of falling into a deep abyss, similar to what happened earlier this season when they lost seven of eight.

The Kings managed to out-shoot the Sharks, 29-19, including 21-11 through two periods, but couldn’t find a hole in goalkeeper Antti Niemi, who had allowed four goals in the third period just five days earlier in a 4-0 loss to Los Angeles in San Jose. The Kings had their chances on the power play, but were o-for-3 with the man-advantage.

Devin Setoguchi tallied the game’s lone goal with 1 minute 6 seconds remaining in the second period, receiving a cross-ice pass just in front of the Kings’ blue line, cutting to the middle and flicking a long wrist shot past the stick side of Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick.

Quick was removed from the game Wednesday night in Phoenix after allowing six goals through 30 minutes of a 6-3 loss. The following night, he relieved back-up Jonathan Bernier in the second period after he allowed six goals in a 7-4 loss against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

Quick finished with 18 saves, but it was one too few. The Kings had not lost a 1-0 game since April 9, 2009, at Vancouver.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Kings, who host the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. The Kings are 0-2 against Chicago and will be playing their sixth game in the last nine nights.

More to come from the locker room.