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Sharks attempt to draw even with Kings in Game 4

by Brian Hunter


(Los Angeles leads best-of-7 series, 2-1)


Big story: Following an overtime thriller on Saturday and two full days off, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks get back at it in Game 4 from HP Pavilion. The Sharks can knot up the series with a win, while the Kings will look to become the first road team to taste victory.

Team Scope:

Kings: Between its run to the Stanley Cup a year ago and having to rally from two games down in the first round this year against St. Louis, there aren't a lot of situations Los Angeles hasn't encountered and doesn't know how to handle. That's why it was surprising to see the Kings take some critical penalties in Game 3 and come a little unglued after the Sharks capitalized on them.

With less than a minute left in regulation of a 1-1 game, Robyn Regehr was called for hooking and Trevor Lewis received a goaltender interference penalty 37 seconds apart. That gave the Sharks a 5-on-3 heading into overtime, which the Kings killed off, but 11 seconds later they gave up the winning goal on the man advantage. Jonathan Quick, who made 38 saves, was given a game misconduct for chasing down an official to argue the calls.

"It's the position that we put ourselves into that is mind-boggling," forward Anze Kopitar said. "It's not the way we want to play and be in that situation. We came close to killing it off, but just like we've said it all along, you can't give them too many opportunities, because they will score and they did."

Sharks: Now the position for San Jose isn't quite as dire as if it had gone down 3-0 in the series, but if the Sharks can't come up with another win Tuesday they will be faced with having to take three in a row, two of which are scheduled for Staples Center.

Dan Boyle and Logan Couture got the power play clicking in Game 3, with Couture scoring the winner at 1:29 of overtime after it looked like he might be knocked from the game in the second period following a battle along the boards with Jeff Carter. Couture lost his balance and went awkwardly into the boards, came up favoring his left leg and departed the ice briefly. But he'd be back.

"It's playoffs. Everyone plays through injuries," Couture said. "The four years I've been here, I've seen guys play through a lot of injuries. The Stanley Cup is what you're playing for. Whatever it takes."

Who's hot: Quick has stopped 101 of 106 shots in this series for the Kings, a .953 save percentage. … Patrick Marleau leads the Sharks in scoring over the first three games with a goal and two assists.

Injury report: Los Angeles forward Kyle Clifford (undisclosed) skated Sunday wearing a non-contact jersey and expects to return to the lineup Tuesday. Forward Jarret Stoll (upper body) has not begun skating as of yet. … San Jose forward Martin Havlat returned for Game 3 after missing all but the first period of Game 1 of a first-round sweep, but played only six shifts and sustained a lower-body injury that will keep him out of Game 4. On the plus side, defenseman Jason Demers, who hasn't played yet in the postseason, was practicing at forward Monday and could fill a spot there if needed. Also, forward Adam Burish is progressing well from a hand injury. He was expected to miss the entire second round, but could be close to a return.

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