Game Inside the Game - 5/22/2013
Series shifts to LA tied 2-2
“After you go home 0-2, they did what they were supposed to do at home and we did what we were supposed to do… now we just have to win one in LA,” said Joe Thornton.
Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks and Antti Niemi was solid in net as the Sharks took Game 4 by the count of 2-1 on Tuesday to even the best of seven series 2-2 vs. the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Semifinals as the series continues at the STAPLES CENTER on Thursday at 7:30pm! Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on NBCSN / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network.
Before each game day, SJSHARKS.COM will take a look at the “Game inside the Game” as the Sharks continue their quest toward the Stanley Cup! Line matchups, player vs. player battles, head-to-head stats, and key figures highlighted each game day.
Before Game 5, let’s take a closer look GAME INSIDE THE GAME for the Sharks and the Kings:
Lineup changes for Game 5?
San Jose: No injuries to report for San Jose in Game 4.
Martin Havlat left Game 3 after playing 4:25 of the first period for San Jose (first game since getting injured in Game 1 vs. Vancouver) and was replaced by Tim Kennedy in Game 4. Defenseman Jason Demers and Adam Burish are still out with injuries – although both may be getting close to returning. Raffi Torres is serving his series long suspension for his hit on Jarret Stoll in Game 1.
“I thought they were great, established a relentless fore-check, and used their size to their advantage. Obviously that got us the first goal. The momentum they created ran throughout the rest of the lines, and everybody jumped on board.” – Todd McLellan talking about the Joe Thornton line after Game 4.
Los Angeles: No injuries to report for LA in Game 4.
Forward Jarret Stoll left Game 1 late in the second period after he was checked by Raffi Torres and has not played since – and replaced by Brad Richardson. Kyle Clifford and Matt Greene returned to the lineup in Game 4 for the Kings for their first action of the series. Willie Mitchell is still out with an undisclosed injury. Jordan Nolan, Tanner Pearson, Keaton Ellerby, and Alec Martinez did not dress in Game 4.
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner – Trevor Lewis – Tyler Toffoli
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Brad Richardson
Robyn Regehr – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Matt Greene
Did You Know?:
*HP PP… with another power play goal on home ice in Game 4, the Sharks are now 9-for-24 on the power play through their first four home playoff games (37.5%)… the Sharks went 11-for-42 at the HP Pavilion during the 2010 playoff run (26.2%).
*1st time for everything… the San Jose Sharks have never won a series when dropping the first two games of a series. The Sharks have dropped their previous nine series when falling in a 0-2 series hole. San Jose has been swept twice, lost in five games twice, and were eliminated in six games five times in those instances.
*Heads Up….James Sheppard led all players in Game 4 with seven hits and is now 3rd on the Sharks with 25 hits in the playoffs.
*Times have changed….LA went 10-1 on the road last spring on the way to winning the Stanley Cup…but has lost four of five games away from home this year.
*The Sharks are 25-30-4-4 at the STAPLES CENTER all-time in the regular season and 3-2 in LA during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bottom Line:
"We knew going into this series we would have to win one game in LA…. We want to come back home with the lead.” – Logan Couture
“It is what it is. A loss is a loss. You can chop it up any way you want. Its 2-2 going back home. Obviously it would’ve been nice to get one here, but like I said, it is what it is. We’re going home. We’re comfortable there, and we have to put together a full 60 minutes, which we haven’t done for a while.” – Mike Richards
Led by Captain Joe Thornton, the Sharks are feeling pretty good about themselves headed into Game 5. The series is now a best of three; and if the Sharks are to win the series they must win at least one game at the STAPLES CENTER. San Jose was dominating in the first period in Game 4… if there is a way to bottle that energy/effort into the first period in Game 5 in LA, the Sharks will be heading home on Sunday with a chance to close out the series!
GO Sharks GO!