EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Los Angeles Kings
coach Darryl Sutter
took in some interesting television viewing Monday night.
He watched his favorite movie, "The Shawshank Redemption," for about the 18th time. But of course he tuned into to see the San Jose Sharks
blow a golden opportunity to move to third in the Western Conference when they lost to the Anaheim Ducks
Sutter and his players expect a motivated Sharks squad at Staples Center on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in another big Pacific Division matchup.
"We should all be motivated," Sutter said. He then said of San Jose, "They're used to being a dominant home-ice team. I'm sure with their start last night that's how they were going to be. They were getting lots of chances early, then they probably loosed up a little."
Tuesday marks the first of three games between San Jose and Los Angeles over the final 10. The teams play a home-and-home series to end the regular season.
If San Jose is at its grumpiest Tuesday, the Kings won't be surprised.
"I wouldn't expect anything less," Jeff Carter
said. "Obviously you look at the standings and it's a pretty big game for both of us. We don't expect anything short of their best effort, so we've got to be ready."
At the beginning of the season most observers pegged the Kings and Sharks to be in the top eight at this point of the season. While both are on the outside looking in going into Tuesday's game, the winner would climb back into the top eight in the West.
"For whatever reason, teams have their ups and downs," Carter said. "It's how you kind of respond to it. I think our team has been playing some good hockey and putting some wins together and given ourselves a pretty good shot here."