Sharks @ Kings Game Day Preview - 5/23/2013
Western Conference Semifinal Game Five
GAME DAY PREVIEW – GAME 5 VS. KINGS
May 23, 2013
The LA Kings have won 12 straight games at the STAPLES CENTER headed into Game 5.
Each Game Day on SJSHARKS.com, make sure to catch the “Game Day Preview” which will include: Story Lines, matchups, Shark Bites, and much more as the Sharks continue their quest for the Stanley Cup! Let’s take a closer look at the Sharks second round series vs. the Los Angeles Kings!
Western Conference Quarterfinals
#6 San Jose Sharks (25-16-7) at #3 Vancouver Canucks (26-15-7)
Sharks WIN series 4-0
Wed., May 1 GAME 1 @ Vancouver 7:30pm Sharks WIN 3-1
Fri., May 3 GAME 2 @ Vancouver 7pm Sharks WIN 3-2 OT
Sun., May 5 GAME 3 @ San Jose 7pm Sharks WIN 5-2
Tue., May 7 GAME 4 @ San Jose 7pm Sharks WIN 4-3OT
Western Conference Semifinals
#6 San Jose Sharks (25-16-7) at #5 Los Angeles Kings (27-16-5)
Game 5 at 7:30pm (PST) Thursday, May 23 at the STAPLES CENTER in LA
Series tied 2-2
Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on NBCSN / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network (all games listed PST).
Thu., May 16 GAME 2 @ Los Angeles 7pm Kings win 4-3
Sat., May 18 GAME 3 @ San Jose 6pm Sharks WIN 2-1OT
Tue., May 21 GAME 4 @ San Jose 7pm Sharks WIN 2-1
Thur., May 23 GAME 5 @ Los Angeles 7:30pm
Sun., May 26 GAME 6 @ San Jose TBD
*Tue., May 28 GAME 7 @ Los Angeles TBD
Battle in California!
The San Jose Sharks face the #5 seed Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 in the best of seven Western Conference Second Round Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is the 30th playoff series in franchise history for the Sharks (14-15) and the 2nd playoff series meeting vs. the Los Angeles Kings.
Previous Playoff Series/Action vs. the Kings:
2011 Western Conference Quarterfinal – the #2 seed San Jose Sharks defeated the #7 seed Los Angeles Kings 4-2.
The Sharks won three overtime games vs. the Kings in the series and scored six goals in three of their four wins. Ryan Clowe led all Sharks players with seven points (4-3-7) in the series. A lot has changed since the first and only playoff meeting between the Sharks and the Kings…. as LA won the Stanley Cup in 2012!
San Jose is 65-48-7-6 all-time in the regular season vs. the Kings (including 2-2-0 this season).
Sharks vs. Kings matchups to look for:
Let’s break it down heading into Game 5:
POWER PLAY: - advantage SHARKS
The Sharks rank 2nd in NHL (among teams left) with a power play clicking at 25% (10-40) but are just 1-for-16 on the road (6.2%). The Kings rank 3rd (among teams left) going 22.2% on the power play and 3-for-14 on home ice. In the series, the Sharks are 3-for-16 (18.8%) while the Kings are 4-for-12 (25%).
FACE-OFFS: - advantage to the SHARKS
The Sharks were 34-26 (56.7%) in Game 4 and have a 146-110 advantage through the first four games (57%). Joe Thornton (12-6, 67%) and Joe Pavelski (7-1, 88%) were on fire in Game 4 for the Sharks while Mike Richards (3-7, 30%) and Trevor Lewis (5-9, 36%) struggled for 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.
Not expecting any changes for Game 5:
TJ Galiardi – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
James Sheppard – Scott Gomez – Tommy Wingels
Andrew Desjardins – Tim Kennedy – Bracken Kearns
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Brad Stuart
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.
“Well, its natural their chances are going to go down because they’re either going to play against top players, or they’re going to draw top defensemen. That’s natural. But at the same time, that is a part of playoffs, is understanding that and sort of fighting through that.” – coach Darryl Sutter on the Brown, Kopitar, Williams line not generating enough scoring chances.
It appears the Kings may shake up their line combinations in Game 5 with Kyle Clifford taking a spot with Kopitar and Williams. Possible changes below:
Kyle Clifford – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dustin Penner – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dwight King – Trevor Lewis – Dustin Brown
Tyler Toffoli – Colin Fraser – Brad Richardson – Jordan Nolan
Robyn Regehr – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Matt Greene
Shark Bites: (interesting tidbits heading into Game 5)
*Nice Home Record… The Sharks are 4-0 at the HP Pavilion in the playoffs headed into Game 4 after having the best home record during the 2012-13 regular season (17-2-5)… San Jose is 41-33 all-time on home ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
*Game 5… San Jose is 12-14 all-time in Game 5’s including a 4-9 record on the road… the Sharks have lost four straight Game 5’s and have not won a Game 5 on the road since a 3-2 win at the Nashville Arena on April 20, 2007 in the WQF. – Patrick Marleau had the game winner in that game!
*5 PPGs… Logan Couture tied a franchise record with his 5th power play goal of the 2013 playoffs in Game 4. Mike Ratje (1995) and Joe Pavelski (2010) also scored five playoff goals in a playoff run for the Sharks.
*Not your average Joes!... Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton ruled the face-off dot in Game 4 going a combined 19-7 (73%)!
*Home Sweet Home… the LA Kings have won 12 straight games at the Staples Center (including regular season).
*Tied… Jonathan Quick (26 playoff wins) is tied for with Kelly Hrudy (26 wins) for the most playoff wins in franchise history.
*Tough Scoring… the Kings have been held to one goal or fewer in 5-of-10 of their playoff games this season and average an NHL low 25 shots per playoff game.
*Tied 2-2… the Kings have won 7-of-11 playoff series that have been tied 2-2.
*Shh…don’t wake him up… Anze Kopitar has just one goal in his last 26 games dating back to the regular season.
What they are saying:
LA Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr on Joe Thornton:
“He’s a very good passer, a very dangerous passer. If you give him time and a lot of space out there, he’s going to make plays. For us, whoever’s playing against him out there on the ice when he’s out there – it doesn’t matter if it’s power play or even strength, whatever it is – you’ve got to make sure you pressure him, get him stopped up, get him in a corner, try to get a little body on him, things like that. Just don’t let him get to the back of the net, things like that.”
If the Sharks get the type of dominant play from Joe Thornton that we saw in Game 4…. the Sharks will have a great shot in Game 5! San Jose has got to find a way to translate their “home ice power play” to the road at the Staples Center in Game 5. The first ten minutes of Game 5 will be huge for the Sharks… if SJ can play with the same tempo they did to start in Game 4…. the Sharks will be in good shape. A best of three series now, the Sharks need to win just one game on the road to win the series (because the Sharks are going to win at home!)…. let’s hope it’s Game 5! GO SHARKS GO!
SHARKS at KINGS
(Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2)
TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Big story: Prior to Game 4, Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter downplayed the notion of momentum being big in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the Kings have certainly experienced the ebbs and flows of it dating back to the first round. They fell in a 2-0 hole against the St. Louis Blues, then swept the next four games to advance. They extended their postseason win streak to six by jumping ahead of the San Jose Sharks 2-0 in the Western Conference Semifinals, but now the Sharks have taken two in a row by 2-1 scores and are feeling good about themselves heading into Game 5 at Staples Center.
Sharks: Much was written and discussed heading into the playoffs about how San Jose has become Logan Couture's team, and never has that been more evident than over these past two games. Facing an unenviable position if they didn't win both games back at HP Pavilion, the Sharks needed someone to step up and drag them out of their hole, and Couture delivered.
First, he scored the overtime goal in Game 3 that kept the Sharks' hopes alive -- after returning from a second-period injury. On Tuesday, his second-period power-play goal staked them to a 2-0 lead and held up as the game-winner. Couture finished with five shots, three hits, three blocked shots and two takeaways. Joe Thornton also stood front and center, setting up Brent Burns' goal that opened the scoring, and Antti Niemi made 22 saves.
"We knew going into this series we'd have to win one game at Staples Center if we want to win this series," Couture said. "We've done our job at home. We need to go into L.A. and win a game on Thursday. We're looking forward to it."
Kings: For the second straight series, Los Angeles faces a pivotal Game 5 -- unlike in the first round, this time it's on home ice. However, this time the Kings are the team that has lost two in a row and must find a way to get things going back in their favor.
Just like the Sharks came out of the first two games of the series feeling they probably should have managed at least a split, the Kings can look at the last two in San Jose knowing there were opportunities to win. Late penalties doomed them in Game 3 and they had a chance on Tuesday after Mike Richards' power-play goal midway through the third period, but couldn't get another puck past Niemi. A solid performance by Jonathan Quick (21 saves) was wasted.
"We've got to start on time," defenseman Matt Greene, back after missing nearly a month due to injury, told the Los Angeles Times. "It's easy to play when you get down 2-0. You open up a little bit. We've got to start on time. We've got to play better right away. You can't be trying to come back every night in the playoffs."
Who's hot: Niemi has stopped 48 of 50 shots over the past two games for the Sharks. Couture has goals in consecutive games. … Quick has allowed just seven goals on 129 shots in the series for the Kings.