KINGS (3-3) at SHARKS (3-3)
7:00PM PT, TV: PRIME TICKET, NBC SPORTS NETWORK; RADIO: AM 1150
WHY WE PLAY SEVEN: The Kings have rattled off three straight wins to even this first round Western Conference playoff series, which will be decided tonight in a pivotal Game 7 match up at SAP Center in Northern California. The Kings are the ninth NHL team to take a series the distance after trailing 0-3, and can be the fourth NHL team to win a series after facing a three-game deficit with a win tonight in San Jose.
CAGE MATCH: The Kings snapped their five-game postseason losing streak at SAP Center in Game 5’s 3-0 win Saturday night, and were one of only six teams to hand the Sharks a regulation loss in their building during the regular season. The Kings seem to embrace the boisterous, intimidating atmosphere at SAP Center; can they do so again with a series-clinching win tonight?
TALKIN’ ‘BOUT HISTORY?: The Kings have their blinders on. Tonight’s game is about nothing more than attaining a win. Jon Rosen caught up with Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick Tuesday in El Segundo in advance of tonight’s Game 7 showdown in San Jose:
LEVEL-HEADED: Jonathan Quick spoke to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider prior to the series on April 16:
“We have a lot of guys that just hate to lose. I think sometimes you have two great teams and one team loves to win and one team hates to lose and I feel like the team that hates to lose will end up winning more times than not. I think we’ve got a lot of those guys in the locker room. It’s something that’s a good quality to have, I think.”
And Quick, prior to Game 7 tonight:
It’s all poise, which just may be San Jose’s poison.
BIG GAMES, BIG NAMES: Anze Kopitar (3G, 2A) and Justin Williams (4G, 1A) have combined for seven goals and ten points during the Kings’ previous three wins. Drew Doughty’s been an absolute menace as well, recording three assists and a plus-five rating while averaging just under 28 minutes of ice time in the last three contests. Who comes up big for the Kings tonight?
JUSTIN TIME: The Kings found themselves in a Game 7 situation against the Sharks last postseason in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Justin Williams, who has four goals and an assist in the Kings’ previous three wins of this series, buried both of the Kings’ goals on the night of May 28, 2013 en route to a 2-1 victory, advancing the Kings to the Western Conference Finals last year.
Some refer to Williams as “Mr. Game7”.
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 Prime Ticket, on scene at SAP Center for puck drop at 7:00 PM PST.