KINGS (0-1) at SHARKS (1-0)
7:00PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST, NBC SPORTS NETWORK; RADIO: AM 1150
CAN ONLY GO UP, NORTH: Tonight presents the second game of the Kings’ best-of-seven Pacific Division Semifinal series with San Jose; the Sharks lead the series 1-0. Thursday night’s 6-3 loss was the Kings’ first three-goal playoff defeat since April 21, 2011, when they fell 6-3 to the Sharks in Game 4 of the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals at STAPLES Center.
TIGHTEN UP: Anze Kopitar, who recorded an assist in Game 1, along with six shots and nine hits in 19:30 minutes of ice time, spoke to reporters Saturday in El Segundo on the Kings’ needs to tidy up for Game 2:
“We got caught swinging away instead of just supporting.”
ANTTI UP: The Kings only created a single scoring chance on Antti Niemi before the Sharks’ goaltender worked the remainder, and most of Game 1 with a cushion. But with 16 third period shots registered Thursday night, the Kings buried three goals on Niemi in the final 20 minutes.
“Though Niemi made tough saves in the first period on Carter and in the second period on a Toffoli shot from a 3-on-2 rush, he sprung a leak in the third period when pressured.” – Jon Rosen, LA Kings Insider
Can the Kings put early pressure on Niemi tonight?
RIDING THE 10: Mike Richards didn’t register a single shot in Game 1 Thursday night in San Jose, and was demoted back to the fourth-line in the late stages of the game. Richards is having one of the worst years of his respectable NHL career, and recorded just two points (2G, 0A) in the Kings’ final 17 regular season games. Jeff Carter, like Richards, is expected to be a consistent offensive influence, but was unable to execute on any of his five shots taken in Game 1.
“There’s still time, of course. In last year’s second-round series against San Jose, Carter and Richards each had five points and the Kings won in seven games. The talent is there, but will it emerge?” – Rich Hammond, LA Register
VYACHESLAV’S SUAVE: Defenseman Slava Voynov recorded five points (1G, 4A) in the Kings’ final four regular season games. Voynov whistled home the Kings’ second goal of the night Thursday in San Jose, extending his current point streak to five games.
Voynov, with his goal Thursday, now also holds a five game playoff point streak, recording seven points (3G, 4A) in the Kings’ previous five playoff games. Voynov also has nine points (4G, 5A) in the Kings’ past nine postseason contests.
Can the Kings’ playoff savvy defenseman continue his postseason production in Game 2 tonight?
CASE IN POINT, FROM THE POINT
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 6:30, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call on scene at SAP Center for puck drop at 7:00 PST. The National broadcast can be seen on NBC Sports Network.