SAN JOSE -- The last time the San Jose Sharks faced the Los Angeles Kings, they had a franchise-record 52 hits and captured a 2-1 victory April 3 at SAP Center.
The Sharks matched the Kings' physicality and actually gave more than they took that night, doling out 20 more hits than Los Angeles.
When the Sharks open the Stanley Cup Playoffs against Los Angeles on Thursday at SAP Center in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, FS-W, CSN-CA), they know the hits have to keep coming.
"We have to be physical against this team," Sharks defenseman Jason Demers said Wednesday after practice. "They're a bigger team, but also we have size and can skate with them. I think we've just got to show we can push back too. Obviously we can't get carried away and take too many penalties because of their very good power play. We're emphasizing finishing our checks and just making it a hard series.
"A lot of people are saying it's going to go long, so might as well make it a long, hard series on them and make them earn everything they get."