NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, May 23rd
(All times Eastern)
(6) San Jose Sharks (2-2) at (5) Los Angeles Kings (2-2), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Jose Sharks will aim for a third straight victory,
as they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday for Game 5 of the deadlocked
Western Conference semifinals.
San Jose lost the first two games of this best-of-seven series in Los Angeles,
but recorded a pair of 2-1 wins on home ice to even the set at 2-2.
The sixth-seeded Sharks won Game 3 in overtime before taking Tuesday's
encounter at HP Pavilion in regulation. Antti Niemi made 22 saves to help San
Jose tie the series and improve its home record in this postseason to 4-0.
San Jose is 2-2 as the road team this spring after going 8-14-2 as the
visiting club in 2013. The Sharks won both games in Vancouver en route to
their sweep of the Canucks in the opening round.
The Sharks received goals from Brent Burns and Logan Couture on Tuesday.
Couture's tally was his fifth of the playoffs and all of his goals have come
on the power play.
"I thought we really established our forecheck well and that helped us get our
first goal," said San Jose head coach Todd McLellan. "That's the type of game
we have to play because we have big bodies and some speed that we need to use
to our advantage."
Mike Richards had the only goal of the game for the Kings, who received 21
saves from Jonathan Quick in the setback.
"I think we battled back and made it close, but you don't get much for making
it close," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "I think our role
players kept us in the game and they have in the past three games."
The Kings were 1-for-3 on the power play, while San Jose went 1-for-4.
Los Angeles fell to 1-4 as the away team in the playoffs after posting a
8-12-4 road record during the regular season.
However, the Kings were 19-4-1 as the home team in 2013 and are a perfect 5-0
at the Staples Center in the postseason. In fact, L.A. hasn't lost a home game
since dropping a 1-0 decision to Vancouver on March 23.
The Sharks will host Game 6 of this series on Sunday.
This marks just the second postseason meeting between these two Pacific
Division rivals. The Sharks got the best of the Kings in six games during the
2011 conference quarterfinals.
05/23 10:43:17 ET