NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 16th
(All times Eastern)
(6) San Jose Sharks (0-1) at (5) Los Angeles Kings (1-0), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to extend their lead in the
Western Conference semifinals, as they host the San Jose Sharks in Thursday's
Game at Staples Center.
The defending Stanley Cup champions used a strong performance from Jonathan
Quick in Game 1 to stake themselves to a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven set.
Quick, the reigning Conn Smythe winner, posted 35 saves to notch his second
shutout of this postseason and lead the Kings to Tuesday's 2-0 defeat of the
Sharks. Quick, who also shut out St. Louis in Game 3 of the first round,
fought off 16 shots in the third period on Tuesday.
Quick's six career playoff shutouts are a franchise record and his 25 career
postseason wins is one away from tying the team mark set by Kelly Hrudey.
Slava Voynov and Mike Richards registered a goal and an assist apiece for the
Kings, who have won 11 straight games at Staples Center dating back to the
regular season. L.A. also has won five straight since dropping the first two
games of the conference quarterfinals to the Blues.
The fourth-seeded Kings, who were 19-4-1 as the host during the regular
season, also have home-ice advantage at the start of a playoff series for the
first time since 1992.
"It felt weird to be honest with you, but it is what it is," Kings forward
Anze Kopitar said of starting a series at home. "It's nice to have home ice
and it's nice to stay home an extra day, but we realize that we're going to
have to do it on the road at some point too."
Antti Niemi allowed both goals on 20 shots for the sixth-seeded Sharks, who
turned in a four-game sweep of the Northwest Division-champion Vancouver
Canucks in the opening round. Tuesday's contest was San Jose's first game
since eliminating the Canucks on May 7.
"We have to find ways to score," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "We have
to make it a lot harder on them. And did we generate some chances? Yes, but we
didn't win the game."
As of Thursday morning, there was still no word on whether Sharks forward
Raffi Torres will be suspended for his hit on Kings center Jarret Stoll in
Game 1. Torres was given two minutes for charging on the play, which occurred
near the end of the second period.
Torres, of course, is considered a repeat offender and he was given a 25-game
suspension for a vicious check on Chicago's Marian Hossa during last year's
playoffs. That suspension was ultimately lowered to 21 games, but Torres still
missed the first eight games of this season.
The NHL requested an in-person meeting with Torres for his hit on Tuesday,
meaning he could be suspended for as many as five games.
Stoll, meanwhile, never returned to Tuesday's contest and is likely to miss
San Jose, which will host Game 3 on Saturday, was 8-14-2 as the road team this
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.
The Kings and Sharks split four regular-season meetings this year, with each
team winning twice at home.
05/16 11:05:00 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.