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Kings try to cap historic comeback in Game 7

by Corey Masisak


(Best-of-7 series tied 3-3)


Big story: Either the Los Angeles Kings will become the fourth team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup Playoff series after losing the first three games, or the San Jose Sharks will win a Game 7 after leading a series 3-0 for the second time in four years. The winner of will face the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Second Round.

Team Scope:

Kings: The biggest advantage for Los Angeles might not be in net, despite Jonathan Quick yielding one goal in the past two games and playing more like the guy who took starring roles in the 2012 and 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That distinction might belong to defenseman Drew Doughty, who has probably been the MVP of this series. Doughty has six points and is averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time.

After six games, this series is almost a dead heat in puck possession at even strength, but the Kings have more than 57 percent of the shot attempts when Doughty is on the ice, which is tops among defensemen on either team.

Sharks: There was a common theme in San Jose's dressing room after practice Tuesday. The phrase "82 games" was mentioned by nearly every player who spoke with the media. It is clear that was the message, either from the coaching staff or the leaders on the roster, or both.

The Sharks had the second-best record in the NHL this season at home. The Kings have won twice at SAP Center in their past 14 tries.

"We worked all season to get home-ice advantage, and then coming into tomorrow night, that's why we worked," Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. "We probably didn't expect to get to Game 7 this way but we knew it was a real possibility of it being there. Looking ahead, it's about a few things we've done all year and we just need to do them."

Who's hot: Kings forwards Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams have combined for seven goals and 10 points in the past three games. … Sharks forward James Sheppard has two of San Jose's four goals since Game 3.

Injury report: Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell left Game 6 with an undisclosed injury, and will not play. The Kings recalled Jeff Schultz from Manchester of the American Hockey League, but it will be Matt Greene who replaces Mitchell. … Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper body) will miss a second straight game. Forward Adam Burish (hand) is unavailable.

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