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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:20 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks turning back to Niemi; Vlasic out for Game 7

SAN JOSE -- After a one-game break, San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi will return to the starting lineup Wednesday at SAP Center for Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA).

Backup Alex Stalock replaced Niemi in Game 6 and made his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles at Staples Center. Niemi was pulled for Stalock early in the third period of Game 4 and early in the second of Game 5.

"I think the break was good for [Niemi]," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after an optional morning skate. "He got a chance to work on some things in his game that the goaltending coach wanted to work on. He got a chance to rest. Our team did need a change heading into Game 6 into L.A. Unfortunately, we had to pull him twice, but that wasn't all on Nemo's shoulders. It's pretty evident and obvious, I hope I've made that clear. But moving forward with Nemo, we want to give Nemo an opportunity."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 7:05 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks still confident as they prepare for Game 7

SAN JOSE -- Three years ago, the San Jose Sharks were one loss away from the making the wrong kind of Stanley Cup Playoff history.

The Sharks took a 3-0 lead in their second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings, but the Red Wings won the next three, forcing a Game 7 at San Jose. The Sharks won 3-2 and avoided becoming the fourth team in NHL history to lose a best-of-7 series after taking a 3-0 lead.

The Sharks find themselves in a similar situation this spring after bolting to a 3-0 lead then losing three straight to the Los Angeles Kings in their Western Conference First Round series. Game 7 is Wednesday night at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA), and the Sharks are drawing heavily on their 2011 experience against the Red Wings


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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 6:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Kings can draw on Game 7 experience

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The slight grins on their faces and certain tone in their voices were noticeable when Los Angeles Kings Mike Richards and Drew Doughty talked about playing a Game 7.

It's a cliché, but it's true: Game 7s bring hockey players back to their childhoods, when they envisioned scoring the game-winner from the driveway or backyard pond. Those thoughts seemed to run through Doughty's mind Tuesday when he talked about Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks to be played Wednesday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC,RDS,PRIME).

"Last night, I couldn't sleep [I was] just so excited for this game," Doughty said. "I'm going to have to get a nap in today and get a better sleep tonight because I'm a little tired this morning. I just can't wait to get it going. It's an unbelievable atmosphere in that arena when we come on the ice and they're going to be booing us like crazy right off the bat. It gets the goose bumps going and gets you excited for the game and gets you excited to hopefully beat that team in their rink. I know everyone is looking forward to it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 6:31 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks' Vlasic sits out practice with upper-body injury

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who missed Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday with an upper-body injury, did not practice Tuesday.

Vlasic's availability for Game 7 on Wednesday at SAP Center remains in doubt (10 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, PRIME, CSN-CA).

"[Vlasic is] getting treatments, and when he's better, he'll play," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Tuesday.


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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 10:25 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 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.

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:48 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks defenseman Vlasic sidelined for Game 6

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks will not have defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

The Sharks will use Matt Irwin to replace Vlasic, who left Game 5 with an upper-body injury from a hit by Jarret Stoll late in the first period. Vlasic did not skate and did not even have a locker stall in the Sharks dressing room. San Jose leads Los Angeles 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

"It's a loss to our hockey club, but it's one we can overcome," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "Good teams that have opportunities to win and move on overcome adversity, and this is one of those situations. We feel that Matt Irwin or Matt Tennyson can go into that position and play. They're different players. They're different levels of experience, but both of them have National Hockey League experience, and are capable of getting it done.

"It's not about the one you lose, it's about the collective group, as a whole, that has to pull together. We can overcome that loss."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:14 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sharks name Stalock as Game 6 starter

LOS ANGELES -- San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock sat at his locker stall and looked at the game notes, specifically the roster for the Los Angeles Kings. He counted off the names of the players he's seen in the American Hockey League.

Stalock knows several of the Kings' younger players from playing against them in the Calder Cup Playoffs, and he would like to use that knowledge to eliminate the Kings when he starts Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series on Monday night at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).

It will be his first career start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. San Jose leads the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 6:31 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Sutter praises Toffoli after latest Kings win

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter walked into his Sunday media session and pretended to be a cameraman in his own scrum. He stood behind one of the cameras and playfully asked questions like a reporter.

"Did you think that was a good goal?" Sutter joked. "What did you think of your third line?"

The small group of giggling reporters almost couldn't get over it. Roughly 12 hours earlier, Sutter conducted a 42-second postgame press conference that featured him in his classic, tight-lipped contrarian stance.

Sutter was cheerier a day after his Los Angeles Kings trailed 3-2 in the Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks. Their attempt to become the fourth team in NHL history to win after erasing a 3-0 deficit resumes with Game 6 at Staples Center on Monday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, CSN-CA, PRIME).


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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 4:44 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Kings need rare win at San Jose to stay alive

SAN JOSE -- The Los Angeles Kings survived one win-or-go-home game in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the San Jose Sharks, staying alive with a 6-3 victory Thursday at Staples Center.

Now the Kings, who trail 3-1 in the series, will try to survive Game 5 on Saturday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, RDS2, FS-W, CSN-CA), a place Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter called "the cage" after his team's victory.

The cage has not been kind to the Kings. They're lost five straight playoff games at SAP, three last year in their second-round victory and two this year. Including regular-season games, they've played 12 games at San Jose since the start of the 2011-12 season and have one victory (a 1-0 shutout Jan. 27 by goaltender Jonathan Quick).

"It's tough to win in this building," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said after the morning skate. "We know what we have to do, and we know how to beat this team. The bottom line is we need to have a good start like always. We want to get that first goal, and we've been letting them back in the game by letting them get one next. We need to build on that lead and push them out of the game."

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Quote of the Day

You could see out there that everybody was willing to compete, to sacrifice, even blocking shots to the end. Even in the third when we were up 5-0, guys were still working hard and blocking shots That's a nice feeling also for the future.

— Flames goalie Jonas Hiller after his team's 5-0 win over Carolina
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