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Kings set for rubber-match with Sharks

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


AT THE TANK: Tonight marks the fifth and final meeting with the Sharks this season and the Kings’ third visit to San Jose’s SAP Center. The Sharks are completing a six-game home stand where they’ve gone 2-3-0 thus far; they’re coming off of a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. The Kings are on the road for one game; they’re coming off of a 6-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

NATIONAL CONCERN: The Kings will play their 10th and final Nationally Televised game on the NBC Sports Network tonight. The team has struggled under the network’s spotlight, posting a 2-7-0 record away from Fox Sports West this season, including a 0-2-0 record against San Jose. However, in the Kings’ two wins on NBCSN this season, they’ve shutout a pair of playoff powerhouses, beating the Blues and Blackhawks by a combined score of 8-0.

LINEUP: The Kings held a morning skate at the SAP Center in anticipation of tonight’s game. There were no changes made from the lines used Saturday night against Edmonton, where the set of Lucic – Carter – Toffoli combined for 10 points. Vincent Lecavalier will be in the lineup again, saying “I feel good” after taking a couple of days and missing Thursday’s game for maintenance. Jonathan Quick left the ice first and will make his third start against the Sharks this season.

FORWARDS

PEARSON – KOPITAR – BROWN
LUCIC – CARTER – TOFFOLI
KING – LECAVALIER – LEWIS
CLIFFORD – DOWD – ANDREOFF
(SHORE)

DEFENSEMEN

MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
SCUDERI – SCHENN
(MCBAIN)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In four meetings with the Sharks so far this season, the Kings have posted a 2-2-0 record, most recently winning 3-2 in OT on January 24 at San Jose’s SAP Center. Jeff Carter (2G, 3A) leads all Kings players in points scored against the Sharks this season with five, Tyler Toffoli (3G, 1A) in goals scored. Jonathan Quick has started two of the Kings’ four games against San Jose, going 0-2-0, stopping 45 of 54 shots faced.

ROAD-ICE ADVANTAGE?: All four meetings between these teams have been won by the visiting club. “Yeah it’s kind of weird,” said Drew Doughty. “We know, I think they’ve lost their last three at home or something like that, so we know that they’re going to try to turn that around tonight and play their best hockey here.” The Sharks have struggled mightily on home ice at the SAP Center, where they’ve lost three straight; their 16-18-3 record at home is the second-worst in the Western Conference.

KEEP ‘EM FROM CLINCHING: The Sharks, who currently sit third in the Pacific Division seven points behind the Kings, can clinch a playoff berth with a win in any fashion. San Jose can also clinch if they earn one point and the Arizona Coyotes lose to the Calgary Flames. If Arizona loses in regulation, the Sharks are in no matter what. Can the Kings do their part in keeping San Jose from clinching tonight?

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Tonight’s game will be broadcasted on the NBC Sports Network, with coverage starting just prior to the 7:00 PM PST puck drop. You can listen to the Kings’ very own Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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