Game 2: SHARKS at KINGS
Western Conference First Round
San Jose leads best-of-7 series 1-0
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-W, CSN-CA
LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks know they will face a different Los Angeles Kings team, literally and figuratively, in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round Series at Staples Center on Saturday.
Kings right wing Marian Gaborik has been cleared to play medically and could be on the first line for Game 2. Gaborik has not played since Feb. 12 because of a sprained knee.
"He'll go through [pregame] warm-up and he will declare himself," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "He's been medically cleared so it will become a coach's decision and a player's declaration of whether he is ready or not."
Gaborik's speed changes the look of the Kings, who will significantly re-order their lines if he plays.
The Kings also likely will have defenseman Jamie McBain in the lineup in place of Alec Martinez, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 1. McBain was a healthy scratch for Game 1 but played 44 games in the regular season.
"We're aware of [the changes], but it doesn't change our game plan," San Jose coach Pete DeBoer said.
The Sharks will have the same lineup as Game 1. DeBoer said he did not feel changes were necessary because his team carried play for long stretches in the 4-3 victory in Game 1 on Thursday.
"There's always room for improvement," DeBoer said. "We're smart enough to know they are going to be better tonight and we know we have another level. I was happy that we won and I was happy with some of the things we did. I also think we can play better and we are going to have to."
The Sharks, already having stolen a road win, are embracing the opportunity to go home with a 2-0 series lead. But they know they can't get too far ahead of themselves.
"They're going to come back with a great game and you've got to be that much better," San Jose defenseman Brent Burns said. "The start is going to be a grind. That's what we expect."
If they can survive what they expect to be a hard push from the Kings early, the Sharks will try to have a similar output as Game 1.
"Every game you play in the playoffs is a big opportunity," DeBoer said. "We are going to throw our best game out there. I think we are ready to play.
"It'll be great if we come out 2-0 [in the series]. But if we're 1-1, we'll regroup and go again. This is about resetting after every game and trying to put your best game out there. You're not going to win every single game. But I think if we can do that, hopefully at the end of the series we're standing."
Here are the projected lineups:
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi - Logan Couture - Joel Ward
Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Melker Karlsson
Nick Spaling - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels
Paul Martin - Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak
Scratched: Dainius Zubrus, Micheal Haley, Dylan DeMelo
Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Marian Gaborik
Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli
Dustin Brown - Vincent Lecavalier - Kris Versteeg
Dwight King - Andy Andreoff - Trevor Lewis
Jake Muzzin - Luke Schenn
Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty
Jamie McBain - Rob Scuderi
Injured: Alec Martinez (lower body)
Scratched: Kyle Clifford, Nick Shore
Status report: The Kings tried to reveal as little as possible about potential line combinations and defense pairings. Questions remain about the composition of the fourth line, with Shore possibly replacing Andreoff at center. With Gaborik's return, King would slide to the fourth line and knock Clifford out of the lineup.
Who's hot: Pavelski has eight goals and four assists in the past six games against the Kings, including the playoffs.