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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 2:55 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks' Hiller expected to start against Kings

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau did not name his starting goaltender Saturday morning for Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Los Angeles Kings. But signs point to veteran Jonas Hiller getting the nod ahead of rookie Frederik Andersen at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Hiller did not take part in Anaheim's morning skate, which started before 9 a.m., because of the 5 p.m. local start time for Game 1, but Andersen did. Boudreau did note that Hiller has not taken part in morning skates before early starts all season. Hiller has started for the Ducks on those occasions.

"I don't know, you'll have to find out," Boudreau said when asked to name his starting goaltender. "I don't know why it's such a big deal. One of the two will be playing. We're going to have six guys on the ice most of the night.

"If it makes L.A. work a little harder to figure out on their scouting report on who they're going to go against, even if it is five minutes extra, let's make them work a little harder."

Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Greene returns to Kings lineup with Mitchell injured

SAN JOSE -- Matt Greene will return to the lineup for the Los Angeles Kings in place of injured defenseman Willie Mitchell for Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA).

Mitchell was injured during Game 6 and did not skate Wednesday morning. It will be the first time any of the Kings' top-six defensemen miss a game in this series.

"Obviously [Mitchell] is not playing tonight," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "Hopefully there's a chance that if there's some sort of miracle that we can win tonight, maybe we'd get him back again this year."

Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 10:25 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Havlat makes postseason debut for Sharks

LOS ANGELES -- Martin Havlat made his 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut for the San Jose Sharks against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series at Staples Center on Monday night.

Havlat will replace Mike Brown in the lineup for the Sharks. San Jose also replaced goaltender Antti Niemi with Alex Stalock, who made his first NHL postseason start.

Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 5:02 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks' duo of Thornton, Burns problematic for Kings

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings are one of the biggest, toughest teams in the NHL. They have been so successful the past two seasons in part because of their ability to make their size and toughness an advantage, wearing out opposing teams with their brand of "heavy hockey."

That's why it was surprising to hear Kings coach Darryl Sutter say Thursday morning his team has had trouble dealing with the size of the top line for the San Jose Sharks. He's even going to make a tactical change to combat the problem for Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round Series at Staples Center (10:30 ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-SW, CSN-CA).

Sutter is moving captain Dustin Brown to his top line, and the expectation will be for him to help neutralize San Jose's Joe Thornton and Brent Burns.

"I think they've played their game, the same way they've played all year," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "[Burns] is somewhat reckless, which enhances his ability to play. He's a big body that goes [hard]. [Thornton] has always been 6-foot-4 for … however many years. They're on the same line together and they've done a good job to this point."

Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 5:32 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Healthy Sharks thriving against physical Kings

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings have engaged in an incredibly physical Western Conference First Round series, but the Sharks are also relatively healthy.

Health is a relative term in the NHL at this time of year, but compared to other top contenders in the West, San Jose has been fortunate despite the rugged nature of its three victories, with the latest 4-3 in overtime Tuesday.

"We're like everybody else. There is some bumps and bruises floating around every team," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "If you're not bumped and bruised, you're probably out. That's just the way it is. It comes with the territory."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 9:50 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Kings shake up lines for Game 3 vs. Sharks

LOS ANGELES -- Darryl Sutter said his Los Angeles Kings were losing the depth battle in this Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks, and potential new forward lines Tuesday in Game 3 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME) at Staples Center might be his attempt to rectify that problem.

Mike Richards was centering the fourth line during pregame warmups for the Kings, with Jeff Carter sliding into the middle on the second unit. Trevor Lewis, who has two of the Kings' five goals in the series, moved up next to Carter. Rookie Tanner Pearson skated on the third line, and Kyle Clifford was not on the ice.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 4:31 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Pavelski back on Sharks' top line for Game 3

LOS ANGELES -- It appears first-line wing will be Joe Pavelski's assigned role for the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series.

Well, that's where he'll start, anyway.

Pavelski began Game 2 on San Jose's top line against the Los Angeles Kings but moved to center of the third unit after his first shift of the second period with the Sharks down 2-0. The fourth line scored almost immediately after the change, and the Sharks swallowed the Kings with seven straight goals and wave after wave of offensive pressure to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 5:46 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks seek same chemistry for Game 2

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn't sound like someone who is planning much in the way of alterations to his lineup after a resounding Game 1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Sharks roared out to a five-goal lead Thursday and navigated some nervy moments in the third period of a 6-3 win that opened this best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series.

Game 2 is Sunday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-W, CSN-CA), and McLellan didn't rule out lineup changes but had plenty of praise for his group after an optional skate Friday.

"We'll continue to evaluate the game," McLellan said. "We'll also look at where we are physically. I don't think fatigue will be a big factor now, but it could as the series goes on, bumps, bruises, that type of stuff, and come up with a lineup that we think will give us a chance at success in the second game."

Posted On Monday, 02.17.2014 / 7:46 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Road to Sochi blog

Stanley Cup makes surprise visit to Canada House

SOCHI -- Anaheim Ducks star Corey Perry has seen the impact the Stanley Cup has when it shows up someplace it normally isn't.

He experienced that again Monday when the Cup arrived at Canada Olympic House inside the Olympic park at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"It's pretty cool," Perry said. "They were pretty excited to see it. I don't know if anybody knew it was going to be here. That's what, as Canadians and as hockey players, that's what we do. We grow up wanting to raise the Stanley Cup. I've had the honor to do it, and it is a special moment.

"I had no idea. I just met my girlfriend here. We just wanted somewhere to hang out and relax because I have the day off. It was my second time in here and I just wanted to see what happens here. It was pretty surprising to see the Cup show up."

Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 11:03 AM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Road to Sochi blog

Sweden captain Zetterberg out of Olympics

SOCHI -- Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg is out for the rest of the 2014 Sochi Olympics because of injury, the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation announced Friday.

Zetterberg, who has a herniated disk, missed 13 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the NHL season.

Zetterberg had a goal and won seven of 16 faceoffs in 18:14 of ice time Wednesday in Sweden’s 4-2 Olympic-opening win against the Czech Republic. He did not practice Thursday in order to receive treatment.

"In this situation it was no tough decision as this was no borderline case," Sweden team doctor Bjorn Waldeback said Friday. "For people who know medicine, it is obvious that this couldn't continue.

"[Henrik] has been in touch with the Detroit medical staff. I have been in touch with the NHL doctors who are here. They totally agree with us. When you suffer from a herniated disk the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation."

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It's an incredible feeling just to see it go in and see the Joe go pretty crazy.  Ever since the introduction there, I was kind of feeling the nerves, and to put that one home, I started to feel comfortable and I thought my play started to pick up.

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