In the Crease: Sharks' series with Kings shifts to LA

In the Crease: Sharks' series with Kings shifts to LA
April 22, 2014, 10:15 am
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In the Sharks-Kings two playoff games, goalie Antti Niemi has allowed five goals on 60 shots against in 120 minutes played. (AP)

Programming note: Coverage of Game 3 between the Sharks and Kings begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. on CSN California with Sharks Pregame Live (Channel locations)

Series schedule

The Sharks lead the best-of-seven series, two games to none

Game 1 – April 17, Sharks 6, Kings 3
Game 2 – April 20, Sharks 7, Kings 2
Game 3 – April 22, Sharks @ Kings, 7:00 p.m.
Game 4 – April 24, Sharks @ Kings, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5* – April 26, Kings @ Sharks, TBD
Game 6* – April 28, Sharks @ Kings, TBD
Game 7* – April 30, Kings @ Sharks, TBD

* - if necessary

The latest

The Sharks scored seven straight goals in hammering the Kings in Game 2 on Sunday night at home, 7-2. The fourth line got things going in the second period with goals from Mike Brown and Raffi Torres, tying the game at 2-2, while Joe Pavelski finished with one goal and two assists to lead all scorers in the game. Every Sharks forward has at least two points through the first two games of the series.

[INSTANT REPLAY: Sharks score seven straight, thrash Kings]

Home teams are 22-1-1 in the last 24 games between the two teams, including playoffs. The Kings are 10-0-1 in their last 11 home games against San Jose, including playoffs.

Sharks’ playoff series record when…

The Sharks are 6-1 when leading a playoff series two-games-to-none. They are 4-0 when leading a series three-games-to-none, and 7-4 when leading a series two-games-to-one.

[RELATED: History says Sharks will easily advance past Kings]

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Mike Brown. The rugged forward not only scored his first career playoff goal in Game 2, he got another indirect shot in on goalie Jonathan Quick, shoving Tyler Toffoli into the netminder in the first period. The Kings are struggling to match up with the speed and physicality of the Sharks’ fourth line, which also includes Raffi Torres and Andrew Desjardins. Brown has two points in the series, a +2 rating and leads San Jose with 14 penalty minutes after a late game misconduct on Sunday.

Kings: Marian Gaborik. The late season addition is one of many top Kings players that has yet to show up in the series, going scoreless with three shots and a -1 rating. The winger had 11 points in 19 games after a trade from Columbus brought him to the Kings, and he’ll have to be much better if Los Angeles wants to advance. In 56 career playoff games, Gaborik has 35 points (18g, 17a).

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 6.50 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 2.50 (T – 6th)
Power play: 22.2 percent (5th)
Penalty kill: 100.0 percent (T – 1st)

Kings
Goals per game: 2.50 (T -10th)
Goals-against per game: 6.50 (16th)
Power play: 0.0 percent (T – 15th)
Penalty kill: 77.8 percent (12th)

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

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Jason Demers
Scott Hannan – Dan Boyle
Brad Stuart – Justin Braun

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

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

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

Jonathan Quick
Martin Jones

[KURZ: Fourth line showing Sharks have more depth than Kings]

Injuries/Scratches

Sharks: Adam Burish (left hand) is out.

Kings: None.

Quoteable

“[Joe Pavelski] is just so versatile – he plays wing on our line, goes down and plays with [James Sheppard] and Tommy Wingels. He plays so many positions, but I think it just balances out our scoring. They’ve got to look at four lines, they’ve got to respect all four lines that we have.” – Joe Thornton

Burning question

What has surprised you most about this series so far through two games? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

 

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