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Five keys for Sharks vs. Kings, Game 2

Possible addition of Gaborik could help Los Angeles get more pucks on goal against San Jose

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings play Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round series at Staples Center on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-CA, FS-W). The Sharks lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.

Here are five keys for Game 2:

1. Learn from the past: The Kings said before Game 1 they needed to stay out of the penalty box because of the Sharks' power play, third in the League during the regular season at 22.5 percent. Instead, the Kings took four penalties. The Sharks scored on the first power play, and then again one second after the expiration of the fourth.

"Their power play is very good," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who was called for the fourth penalty. "It starts with Joe Thornton; he's a very, very good player out there, one of the smartest players in the League without a doubt. He's got guys around him that can shoot the puck and make plays and tip pucks. They're very good at tipping pucks. We've got to stay out of the box. We took way too many penalties and it hurt us."

Video: SJS@LAK, Gm1: Lewis, Hertl score 30 seconds apart

2. Win your faceoffs: The Sharks are among the most proficient teams on faceoffs; they won 32 of 59 in Game 1, but it was the number of clean wins that has to concern the Kings. A clean win by San Jose right wing Joel Ward led directly to a goal by defenseman Brent Burns. Another clean faceoff win, by Joe Pavelski, started a play that led to Pavelski's game-winning goal.

"We watch video before the games every day, so I think just every guy [on San Jose] is different, different types of faceoffs," Kings center Andy Andreoff said. "Use your feet more, use your stick more, use your body more, so you've just got to be aware of that."

Jeff Carter, usually among the Kings' most effective centers on faceoffs, went 5-for-18. The Sharks' Thornton won eight of nine.

3. Better starts: As well as San Jose played in Game 1, they did not start well, allowing the Kings to take a 1-0 lead on Jake Muzzin's goal 2:53 into the first period.

"It's still a worry about the starts a little bit," Pavelski said. "They come out hard. It's still a road game. You've got to manage the puck and the crowd a little bit, the atmosphere and the emotion."

Video: SJS@LAK, Gm1: Burns rips it by Quick off the faceoff

4. Playing in traffic: The Kings will have to find a way to get more shots through to the net. In Game 1, the Sharks blocked 15 shots and made the Kings think twice about several other potential shot attempts.

San Jose isn't going to change its style. The Sharks pride themselves on being among the most aggressive teams in blocking shots. It's up to the Kings to adjust.

"We choose to try to contest every puck to the net," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.

5. Welcome the new boys: The Kings are going to have a different lineup in Game 2. Defenseman Jamie McBain is in for Alec Martinez and Marian Gaborik likely will play on a reconfigured first line. How the Kings work each into the game plan will be vital to their success. It especially will be important to find opportunities for McBain to have some success in the limited minutes he likely will play. He averaged 12:14 of ice time in his 44 regular-season games.

"What do we expect out of Jamie? We expect him to be a really good competitor and move the puck," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "If he doesn't, we are going to have a problem."

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