SAN JOSE -- A once-moribund power play led the Sharks' offensive resurgence on Thursday night, as San Jose scored twice with the man advantage in the second period and barely held on for a badly needed a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion.
Defenseman Matt Irwin scored from outside the circle with 12:53 left in the second period, and Logan Couture followed that with a blast from the point that beat screened Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, as the Sharks won in regulation time for just the second time in the last 11 games.
Midway through the second period, Sharks center Andrew Desjardins changed the game's complexion when he leveled Kings center Colin Fraser with a shoulder check right behind the Los Angeles net. Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin took exception to the hit and started a fight with Desjardins, resulting in a four-minute Sharks' power play.
Muzzin lost the fight and received two minutes for instigating, two minutes for fighting with a visor, a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct. The ensuing power-play goals gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
"It's always a positive when you make a play like that. It's just like making an assist," said Desjardins, who watched the goals from the training room as he received repairs to his hands. "Just something to try and get the boys to feed off of, and it worked."
"He turned the game totally around with that hit," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said of Desjardins.
Couture finished with two goals and an assist, and new linemate Brent Burns had one goal and one assist to help the Sharks score four goals in a game for the first time since they beat Vancouver 4-1 on Jan. 27.
Burns played on the wing for the second straight game and did not look out of place on a line with Couture and Thornton. He scored with 8:51 left in the first period, as a shot from the point by Patrick Marleau deflected off Couture right to Burns, who had the empty net right in front of him for a 1-0 Sharks lead.
"It's just a different game, and when you're playing with those two guys, it's pretty fun," Burns said.
Burns, Couture and Thornton generated three of the Sharks' scoring chances in the first period, when they were outshot 16-6 by the Kings. But Burns' goal helped get the momentum back in San Jose's favor.
"He's an animal out there," Couture said of Burns. "He's reckless, but in a good way. He really doesn't have to think. He just goes in there and plays his game."
Goalie Antti Niemi, who will receive the bulk of the workload as the Sharks now embark on a five-game road trip, made 34 saves -- including 16 in the first period and 12 in the third.
The Sharks now have scored four power-play goals in their last four games, which follows a dismal stretch in which the team had four power-play goals in 14 games.
"If you can put one power play goal after another on video and watch it, they're not very pretty anymore," said coach Todd McLellan, who earned his 207th career win with the Sharks, surpassing Ron Wilson. "They're garbage-type goals, and that's how we got them."
Irwin, 25, attempted 10 shots on net in the last two games before Thursday, and his eight shots on net on Sunday against Colorado marked only the 10th time in Sharks history that a defenseman had eight or more shots in a game. Irwin has 18 shots on net in seven games since he was recalled from Worcester, compared with 14 shots in nine games with the Sharks at the start of the season.
Sharks (12-8-6) at Los Angeles (14-10-2), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA