EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Home ice meant little to the Los Angeles Kings last season when they stormed through the post-season as an eighth seed to win the Stanley Cup.
They're hoping Staples Center means everything in Game 7 of an exhausting playoff with the San Jose Sharks. The Kings host the Sharks on Tuesday night in the finale to a second-round matchup featuring six straight home victories.
Los Angeles has won 13 consecutive home games over the past two months and seven straight home playoff games dating to last year's Cup clincher.
This all-California series is ending just as both teams expected before it began two weeks ago. Neither team can pull away, with goaltending and special teams largely deciding each game.
Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.
— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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