In the Crease: Sharks change lineup for Game 6

In the Crease: What it means for Sharks with Stalock in, Vlasic out

In the Crease: Sharks change lineup for Game 6
April 28, 2014, 3:00 pm
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The Sharks are 7-2 all-time when leading a series three games to two. (AP)

Programming note: Coverage of Game 6 between the Sharks and Kings begins tonight at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live. (Channel locations)

Series schedule

The Sharks lead the best-of-seven series, three games to two

Game 1 – April 17, Sharks 6, Kings 3
Game 2 – April 20, Sharks 7, Kings 2
Game 3 – April 22, Sharks 4, Kings 3 (OT)
Game 4 – April 24, Kings 6, Sharks 3
Game 5 – April 26, Kings 3, Sharks 0

Game 6 – April 28, Sharks @ Kings, 7 p.m.
Game 7* – April 30, Kings @ Sharks, TBD

* - if necessary

The latest

Los Angeles won its second straight game in the series on Saturday at SAP Center, 3-0, behind goals from Tyler Toffoli, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter (power play). Antti Niemi was chased from the net for the second straight game after Carter’s early second period goal, and Alex Stalock made 22 saves in relief.

The winner of the Sharks-Kings series will face the Anaheim Ducks on the road to start the second round. Anaheim beat Dallas, four games to two, in its first round series.

Sharks’ playoff series record when…

The Sharks are 7-2 all-time when leading a series three games to two. They have a 5-3 record when a series it tied 3-3.

The Sharks have a 5-14 all-time record in Game 6 of a playoff series, but have won three of the last four.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Jason Demers. The Sharks defenseman hasn’t been able to find his game in the playoffs after a strong regular season, and has just one assist in the series. In the last two games, Demers is -4 with just two shots on goal. Marc-Edouard Vlasic won’t play in Game 6, so Demers is one player in particular that will have to play better on both ends of the ice for the Sharks to cope with the loss.

Kings: Marian Gaborik. The Kings’ skilled forward didn’t do a whole lot early in the series, but has contributed three goals and one assist in the last three games while remaining on Anze Kopitar’s line. The 32-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has 39 points (21g, 18a) in 59 career playoff games.

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 4.00 (T - 1st)
Goals-against per game: 3.40 (T -13th)
Power play: 18.2 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 76.5 percent (11th)

Kings
Goals per game: 3.40 (T – 3rd)
Goals-against per game: 4.00 (T -15th)
Power play: 23.5 percent (6th)
Penalty kill: 81.8 percent (9th)

Probable lines

Sharks
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Matt Nieto
James Sheppard – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
Raffi Torres – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown

Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Brad Stuart – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers

Alex Stalock (confirmed starter)
Antti Niemi

Kings
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford – Mike Richards – Trevor Lewis

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Robyn Regehr – Slava Voynov
Willie Mitchell – Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick (confirmed starter)
Martin Jones

Injuries/Scratches

Sharks: Adam Burish (fractured left hand) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper body) are out.

Kings: None.

Quoteable

“I played the full series against these guys last year, so I know what it is all about. If I get a chance, I’m excited and I’m ready to go.” – Matt Irwin

Burning question

Was the Sharks’ letdown in Game 5 more physical or mental? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

 

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