Skip to main content

Kings look to defend home ice, cut into series deficit

by Corey Masisak


(San Jose leads best-of-7 series, 2-0)


Big story: A Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup that was expected to be tight has been anything but so far, but the Los Angeles Kings will attempt to regroup on home ice while the San Jose Sharks try to claim a stranglehold on their Western Conference First Round series.

Team Scope:

Sharks: Just about everything has gone as well or better than could be expected for the Sharks to this point in the series. They've lit up one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and torched the stingiest team for 13 goals in two games.

San Jose did lose the faceoff battle in Game 2, but the Sharks struck for several counterattack goals. They've also trailed the Kings in hits in each of the first two games, but that's not a statistic either team is paying much attention.

"That doesn't bother me," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We've talked so many times about that stat. What is or what isn't a hit. It's the impact that contact has on situations that's important, not the number of times that it happens or anything like that. It varies from rink to rink. We knew going into this series that a lot of people would look at those numbers, both at home and on the road. Again, it's the impact that it has on the game. The most important thing is the little black thing that we chase around all the time, and that's still the goal is to have it more than the other team."

Kings: There are several areas where the Kings need to be better, but they also have to be able to shrug off what was an embarrassing defeat in Game 2. San Jose was able to run up the score in the third period, and Los Angeles took several penalties out of frustration.

Coming back to Staples Center, where the Kings have defeated the Sharks eight straight times including all four contests in the 2013 playoffs, will give the team a chance to hit the reset button and try to get back into this series.

"You can look back and realize situations you were in. You lean on guys," Kings center Jarret Stoll said. "You know what guys are going to bring. We all know we're going to bring our 'A' game tomorrow. I look at the guy beside me and he looks at the guy beside him. We know what to expect from guys. We just haven't brought it to this point. We're a very, very close group in there. We've been through a lot together. A couple of tough losses, for sure. Gotta move on, gotta move past it. It takes four. It doesn't take two."

Who’s hot: Each of the 12 forwards that have dressed for the Sharks have at least two points in the series, and 10 different players have scored a goal. … Defenseman Jake Muzzin and forward Trevor Lewis have scored in each game for the Kings.

Injury report: Neither team has incurred any injuries of note in the first two games. The Sharks remain without forward Adam Burish (hand), while Kings coach Darryl Sutter said a couple defensemen were sick before Game 2, which led to him dressing seven and 11 forwards. The Kings are otherwise healthy.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.