SAN JOSE -- Although the San Jose Sharks' fourth line generated plenty of attention for its play in the first couple games, the reason the Los Angeles Kings were facing a 3-0 deficit in the Western Conference First Round series was the lopsided disparity between the performances by the top forwards on each team.
The same can be said about why there will be a Game 7 in this series Wednesday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, PRIME, CSN-CA). In the past three games, the top forwards wearing black and silver jerseys have outproduced the ones wearing black and teal.
"When I look at this series, our core, our high-end players if you will, got the better of theirs in the first two to three games, and it certainly has swung in their favor now," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "The series as a whole is created that way so we get an opportunity to settle it all here in Game 7. For us, we believe in that group, and if we want to have success, it has to go through our core. They have to find ways to elevate their play and carry the team, and everybody else has to follow them. Some of those players have had good looks, some open nets, in fact, that they haven't scored on.
"That's all in the past now. We have to get a winning performance out of a lot of players who maybe have not had that over the last little bit, but we're counting on it [Wednesday]."