The San Jose Sharks and the LA Kings will play a winner takes all Game 7 tonight in their quarterfinals series at 7:00 p.m. at SAP Center in San Jose. Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on CSNCA-HD / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network.
On each game day, sjsharks.com will reveal a “Sharks SPARK”, as we will highlight a player we expect to be the Sharks difference maker in that evening’s game. – the player to lead the Sharks to the promise land (WIN!) that night.
With the use of stats, trends, quotes and instinct we will look into the future (that evening’s game) and predict the score along with the Sharks player that provides the winning SPARK! We welcome your predictions as well… so look into your crystal ball, magic eight ball, ask your pet, or look into the stars and make your prediction as to which player with SPARK the Sharks to victory in Game 7 over the Kings!
LOOKING BACK: (PAST SPARK NOMINATIONS)
Game 1 at San Jose – PAVELSKI
Pavelski got things rolling in Game 1 for the Sharks as he had the primary assist on the first goal of the series scored by Joe Thornton. Pavs finished with an assist, +1, 2nd on the club with six hits, and won 62% of his face-offs in 19:34 of ice time in the Sharks 6-3 victory over the Kings in Game 1.
Game 2 at San Jose – BURNS
The Sharks were down 2-0 after twenty minutes of play in Game 2. On the ice for the opening face-off in the second period, Burns fired two quality shots on Quick and threw a booming check on Drew Doughty in the first 20 seconds to get the SAP Center buzzing at the start of the middle frame. The Sharks ended up scoring seven consecutive goals for a 7-2 win over the Kings. #88 finished 2nd on the club with six hits, 2nd with two take aways, fired four shots on goal, received a matching roughing minor, and took the ice for 18:55 of action in the Game 2 victory.
Game 3 at Kings – NIETO
The Staples Center crowd was rocking after Marian Gaborik scored a beautiful goal at 7:59 of the second period to put the Kings ahead 2-1 – but then there was a Sharks SPARK. Rookie Matt Nieto deflected a Jason Demers shot past Jonathan Quick just 1:18 later to tie the score at 2-2 and swing the momentum back in favor of San Jose. Nieto finished Game 3 with his first playoff goal, two shots, three hits, and one blocked shot in 16:42 of ice time to SPARK the Sharks to a 4-3 win.
Game 4 at Kings – NIEMI
We knew the Kings would not go down without a fight. Antti Niemi made 21 saves on 26 shots in 40:03 of action in the Kings 6-3 win in Game 4 at the Staples Center. LA was buzzing throughout the game and Antti Niemi was pulled in favor of Alex Stalock after Marian Gaborik scored his 2nd goal of the game at 34 seconds of the third period to put the Kings ahead 5-2. The Kings were just too much to handle in the first elimination game of the series.
Game 5 at San Jose – THORNTON
Jumbo fired a team high four shots and was 54% in the faceoff circle in 18:45 of ice time in the Sharks 3-0 loss in Game 5 at the SAP Center. The Kings outshot the Sharks 41-30 and had a 3-0 lead through 20:22 before Antti Niemi was pulled in favor of Alex Stalock. If one thing was clear after this game; that the Kings are not going away quietly and the Sharks better be ready in Game 6.
Game 6 at Los Angeles – STALOCK
Alex Stalock was sharp in his 1st career Stanley Cup playoffs start and kept the Kings to just one goal through just past the midway point of the third period. But a controversial goal call against at 11:56 of the third period scored by Justin Williams gave the Kings the 2-1 advantage as LA then rattled off two more on to a 4-1 Kings victory in Game 6. Al finished with 26 saves on 30 shots in the loss as the Kings forced a Game 7.
•Tommy finished the regular season with 38 points (16-22-38) in 77 games for the San Jose Sharks.
•Wingels finished with a team high SEVEN game winning goals in the regular season and led the Sharks with 218 hits.
•Set career highs in goals (16), assists (22), and points (38) this season.
•Broke a franchise record with 12 hits on March 25 at Edmonton.
•Has three assists and 12 shots while averaging 16:34 of ice time through the first six games of the series vs. the Kings.
•#57 leads the team with 27 hits in the series vs. the Kings.
•“Wings” is still looking for his 1st Stanley Cup playoffs goal as he has six assists in 22 career playoff games.
TRENDS / COININCIDENCES??
Tommy led the Sharks with 218 hits in the regular season and leads the Sharks in the playoffs with 27 hits through the first six games of the series vs. the Kings. – this series has been right up Tommy’s alley. – watch “Wings” play the body tonight to SPARK the Sharks! (The Sharks (262 hits) and Kings (300 hits) have combined for a playoff series high 562 hits through the first six games of the series.
Tommy “Win-goals” led the San Jose Sharks with 7 game winners in the regular season – it would be fitting that his first career NHL playoff goal would be a game winner tonight in Game 7!
The Sharks are 2-0 in Game 7’s that are on home ice.
- 5-3 Game 7 home win over the Calgary Flames on April 22, 2008 – Joe Pavelski had GWG
- 3-2 Game 7 home win over the Detroit Red Wings on May 12, 2011 – Patrick Marleau had GWG
FLASHBACK 1 – Patrick Marleau recalls the atmosphere on home ice in Game 7 vs. Detroit in San Jose on 2011:
"How loud it was, how crazy it was and how intense the game [was]."
TRANSLATION – Marleau expects the SAP Center to be rocking again on Wednesday night!
Captain Joe Thornton about having home ice in Game 7:
"You get one shot at this. Our fans are going to be great. You want to start fast and push them back. That's our plan right now."
TRANSLATION – No translation needed!
LA Defenseman Drew Doughty after Game 6:
"This feels amazing so far. If we can top it off in this last game, it's going to be something I'm definitely going to remember. And I think everyone else for the rest of our lives. But we can't get ahead of ourselves like that. We've got to use the experience we have from our Cup run in order to win this game. I know we're going to be fully prepared."
TRANSLATION – Game 7’s are games that players, staffs, and fans will remember (win or lose) for a very long time. Expect the Sharks, Kings, and the fans to bring their best efforts from start to finish on Wednesday night! – Should be fun!
FLASHBACK 2 – Tommy Wingels after Game 2:
“We've done a great job of transitioning quickly, getting on the fore-check. I think last night (Game 2) a lot of our goals were off the rush, which is a bit different, but that's the way the game dictated. We were getting pucks up and having success, so we'll look to do that again and stay physical."
TRANSLATION – the Sharks have to reach back and draw on those things (transition game, fore-check, speed) that were so successful through the first two games of the series to pull out a win tonight!
GAME 7 PREDICTION: (Win-goals!)
The San Jose Sharks battled all regular season to reserve the right to play a Game 7 (if needed – and it is) in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs – a feat they were not able to do in the Game 7 loss on the road in LA in 2013. It is only a matter of time before Tommy scores his first career Stanley Cup playoffs goal – and tonight will be the night. “Wings” has a history of scoring big goals when they count the most (led team with 7 game winners in the regular season) and will do so tonight by SPARKING the Sharks to a 3-2 series clinching victory with over the Kings in Game 7. Tommy will continue to play the body and SPARK the entire Sharks club to a big time effort tonight.
WHO IS YOUR GAME 7 SPARK?
What is your prediction for Game 7? Who do you think will SPARK the Sharks to a Game 7 victory over the Kings? Join the conversation below…. #SharksSparkPrediction