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Kings try to even series in San Jose

by Corey Masisak


(San Jose leads best-of-7 series, 1-0)


Big story: The Los Angeles Kings will try to rebound from an atypically poor performance after allowing the first five goals in 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 at SAP Center.

"I think we just need to bring it on to our side, and we need to be a team that's taking it to them early," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We actually had a better first shift last game. We had a breakaway right off the bat. If we score on that breakaway it's a complete different start, and a completely different game, I think. We know that they're going to push, and they did just that. We should have been prepared for it. We weren't, though."

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles is known as one of the teams in the NHL that thrives the most from playing "heavy hockey" but it was the Sharks who pushed the physical play early in Game 1. There were officially 121 hits registered in the game, but San Jose's desire to engage in the rough stuff was apparent in the opening minutes.

"I think they're trying to run a lot of our top players," Doughty said. "I know, me personally, they were running me every chance they had. They were finishing me way after I moved the puck. They were doing the same to [Anze Kopitar], and actually they did the same to [Jonathan Quick], running him right off the bat. That's obviously in their game plan. I think our top guys need to be ready for that and, at the same time, we need to be giving it to their top guys."

Sharks: San Jose played about as well it could have hoped for two periods in Game 1. If there is one area the Sharks will need to shore up, it is the number of chances they yielded in the final period, particularly with the third line (James Sheppard, Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels) on the ice. Teams naturally sit back more with a big lead, but forward depth will remain a big key for San Jose throughout this series.

"We have to be sound defensively," Sheppard said. "We had two bad goals against last game. We have to make sure we're not making mistakes, we have to be on the ball. We want to a group that you can depend on both offensively and defensively. We just want to be intense."

Who's hot: Defenseman Slava Voynov had five points in the final four games of his regular season and added a goal in Game 1 for the Kings. … Forward Raffi Torres has only played in six games this season for the Sharks because of knee issues, but he's got four goals and six points.

Injury report: The Kings are healthy. … Sharks forward Adam Burish (hand) remains out.

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