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2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - Kings vs. Sharks

EPIX completes journey with Sharks, Kings at game

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Part of the charm of a reality television series is it gives the viewer a chance to feel every high and low, to understand the true effects of elation and deflation. Those emotions were at the core of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Stadium Series," which ended with its fourth episode Tuesday.

It took us through part of the NHL season with the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. We saw the Kings at their lowest and how they dug out of it. We saw the Sharks feeling good about their game and struggling with a crisis in confidence.

We met individual players and went on vacation with San Jose's Joe Thornton. We got to know Chris Sutter, son of Kings coach Darryl Sutter. We learned why John Scott is beloved by his Sharks teammates. We saw how serious the coaches can be.

The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game was played Saturday at Levi's Stadium, an outdoor game that had more meaning in the standings than any of the previous 13 the NHL staged.

Kings' Gaborik comes up with another clutch goal

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Marian Gaborik was acquired by the Los Angeles Kings last season for one reason.

"I think we all understand what he was brought here to do and that is to score big goals and that is kind of what we expect of him," captain Dustin Brown said.

After delivering on that deal throughout the Kings' triumphant march to the Stanley Cup championship by scoring 14 goals in 26 games, Gaborik did what is expected of him again, in dramatic fashion, on another one of the sport's grandest stages.

This time, Gaborik scored the game-winning goal 4:04 into the third period in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Levi's Stadium, providing the Kings with a 2-1 victory against the rival San Jose Sharks before 70,205 spectators.

"Yeah, it's definitely special," Gaborik said of his goal, which blunted the momentum of the Sharks, who were starting to dominate play after a late first-period goal tied the game. "But it definitely feels good to get the goal."

Loss stings, but Sharks enjoy outdoor experience

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The stands were packed with 70,205 fans at Levi's Stadium, the third largest crowd in NHL history.

The stars were visible on a clear Northern California night.

The only thing missing to make the night complete for the San Jose Sharks was a victory against the rival Los Angeles Kings in their 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game on Saturday.

San Jose suffered a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles that knocked the Sharks out of the second wild-card playoff position in the Western Conference, a spot now held by the Kings.

"It was fun. It was awesome," Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. "Going out there for warm-ups … the whole event has been pretty good, right up to the end. It's the truth when they say it's better when you win. I think it is. It (stinks) right now."

Kings on a roll entering Stadium Series game

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It was only two weeks ago that the Los Angeles Kings were stuck in a rut so deep that for the first time in what has been an inconsistent season, people were wondering out loud if last season's Stanley Cup champions would give themselves a chance to defend their title.

The Kings had lost three in a row and 12 of their previous 15 games (3-7-5). They were behind the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars in the Western Conference standings -- and none of those teams was in a Stanley Cup Playoff position.

Sharks and Kings take playoff battle outdoors

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Since arriving in the NHL in 2009, San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture has watched 16 other teams play in outdoor games, some twice, all the while wishing and hoping he would one day get a chance to do what they were doing.

He gets that chance Saturday night at Levi's Stadium, and he couldn't ask for a bigger moment in the season to have it happen.

"It's more than just a hockey game," Couture said, "It's a massive hockey game."

He's spot on.

Like Sharks, Hertl having up-and-down season

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and forward Tomas Hertl, it's a simple formula when it comes to usage.

When Hertl skates the way he's capable of skating, he gets to play center, where he's most comfortable. When Hertl doesn't move the way McLellan knows he can, he's pushed to the wing and the Sharks lose the depth they need in the middle to compete in the Western Conference.

The problem is Hertl has been pushed to the wing, or even the fourth line, too often this season because he hasn't delivered the way McLellan knows he can.


Sharks enjoy Stadium Series practice, ready for Kings

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels came out of the south tunnel Friday afternoon at massive Levi's Stadium and walked toward the rink for practice, he was hit by a wave of emotion.

"Just kind of some shock and awe of how cool this experience is going to be," Wingels said. "We've all watched and hoped to play in one of these games, and I think from the moment we were announced to host a game, we've had a lot of thoughts and countdowns to tomorrow. So to go out there today and get all the jitters out, to really enjoy the experience with our friends and family, it's really cool. It's something I'll remember for my whole life."

The Sharks soaked up the atmosphere at Levi's Stadium on the eve of their game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

2015 NHL Stadium Series at Levi's Stadium sold out

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks at Levi's® Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21 is sold out, the National Hockey League® announced today.

A crowd in excess of 69,000 fans is expected to fill the stadium for the latest showcase of this Southern California vs. Northern California NHL rivalry. The game will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC and TVA2 in Canada beginning at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.

Since the NHL established the tradition of hosting regular-season games outdoors, fans across North America have expressed their desire for those celebrations to spread across the hockey landscape. Launched last season by the NHL, the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ featured four games in 2014, all of which were played in sold-out stadiums.

2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series by the numbers

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, CA – A look at the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ "By the Numbers."

1 Levi's® Stadium is the first home of a professional football team to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification for new construction, the recognized standard for measuring sustainability for design and construction.

2 Players on the Sharks' active roster who have participated in a regular-season outdoor NHL game: Scott Hannan (2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic as a member of the Washington Capitals) and Tyler Kennedy (2008 and 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Ice surface at Levi's Stadium ready for big test

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dan Craig's ice is ready for its test day.

"It's good that it's time to skate," said Craig, the NHL's Senior Director of Facilities Operations and the person in charge of the rink build for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Saturday at Levi's Stadium between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

Craig gave his ice a small test Thursday when he was the first person to skate on it around 6 p.m. PT. The media in attendance chipped in for an hour after that when the NHL opened the ice for a media skate. But the real test comes Friday, when the Sharks and Kings each practice.

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Quote of the Day

Hopefully [Jonathan] has a year that pushes us, that is the organization, to speak to him next summer and looking for [a long-term contract]. Because the thought process is trying to get a goaltender, and hopefully it's Jonathan, to be the stabilizer for this franchise.

— Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello on goaltender Jonathan Bernier