Sharks Look to Slow Surging Kings, Knot Series
Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 8:57 AM
“You don’t expect to win every game in the playoffs,” said Tommy Wingels. ”I don’t think any team has gone 16-0 in the playoffs, we expected it to be a seven game series.”
GAME DAY PREVIEW – May 16, 2013
Western Conference Quarterfinals
#6 San Jose Sharks (25-16-7) at #3 Vancouver Canucks (26-15-7)
Sharks WIN series 4-0
Wednesday, May 1 GAME 1 @ Vancouver 7:30pm Sharks WIN 3-1
Friday, May 3 GAME 2 @ Vancouver 7pm Sharks WIN 3-2 OT
Sunday, May 5 GAME 3 @ San Jose 7pm Sharks WIN 5-2
Tuesday, 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 2 at 10pm (PST) Thursday, May 16 in Los Angeles at STAPLES CENTER
LA leads series 1-0
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).
Tuesday, May 14 GAME 1 @ Los Angeles 7pm Kings win 2-0
Thursday, May 16 GAME 2 @ Los Angeles 7pm
Saturday, May 18 GAME 3 @ San Jose 6pm
Tuesday, May 21 GAME 4 @ San Jose 7pm
*Thursday, May 23 GAME 5 @ Los Angeles 7:30pm
*Sunday, May 26 GAME 6 @ San Jose TBD
*Tuesday, May 28 GAME 7 @ Los Angeles TBD
That is the big question. Raffi Torres had to fly to New York today to meet with the NHL regarding his check on Jarret Stoll in Game 1. Torres was assessed a minor penalty for charging in the second period for the hit. Stoll left the game and did not return. More to come.
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. Ryane 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
Niemi vs. Quick: - advantage KINGS
“He’s (Quick) a world class goalie,” said Joe Thornton. “We need to get more traffic in front of him.”
Jonathan Quick made 35 saves for his 6th career playoff shutout in Game 1 for the 2-0 win…. But the Sharks got very little traffic in front of the LA crease. Antti Niemi was solid once again for the Sharks, but was screened by the Kings on the two goals allowed. The Sharks need to do a much better job creating havoc in front of the Kings’ net in Game 2.
For the Sharks
The Sharks had five players average at least one point per game in the first round series vs. the Blues. (Pavelski 4-4-8, Couture 4-3-7, Thornton 1-4-5, Marleau 4-1-5, Boyle 1-3-4)… but were unable to find the back of the net in Game 1 vs. the Kings. Matt Irwin led all Sharks players with six shots on goal in Game 1.
For the Kings
Slava Voynov (1-1-2) and Mike Richards (1-1-2) each had a two point game for the Kings. Voynov has been on fire in the playoffs as he now shares the team lead with three goals and leads the club with a +7 rating.
Martin Havlat left after the first period of play in Game 1 vs. Vancouver with an undisclosed injury and has not played since. Adam Burish was injured in Game 4 vs. Vancouver and is not expected to start the series vs. the Kings. Jason Demers, who missed the first round vs. Vancouver is close to returning back to the Sharks lineup. Raffi Torres has a meeting in New York today with Brendan Shanahan for his hit on Jarret Stoll in Game 1. If Torres cannot play; Tim Kennedy or Matt Pelech could be inserted into the lineup.
Defenseman Matt Greene missed the entire first round series vs. the Blues and is listed as day-to-day for LA. Jarret Stoll left the game in the second period in Game 1 after he was hit by Raffi Torres and did not return.
*Game 1… the Sharks have a 15-15 record all time in Game 1’s of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an 8-8 record on the road during Game 1 after their 2-0 loss on Tuesday in LA. In the previous 15 Game 1 losses… the Sharks went on to win 4 of the previous 14 series (28.5%).
*Game 2…. San Jose is 12-17 all-time in Game 2’s but just 5-11 on the road… the Sharks took Game 2 vs. Vancouver with a 3-2 overtime win in Round 1.
*Firing Shots… Matt Irwin had a team high six shots in Game 1 vs. the Kings… Irwin had just five shots total in the first round vs. the Canucks… Joe Pavelski holds the record for most shots in a playoff game with 11 shots on goal on May 2, 2010 in a 4-3 win over Detroit.
*Bounce Back… Jonathan Quick shutout the Sharks in Game 2 in the WCQF series in 2011 with 34 saves in a 4-0 Kings win… the Sharks bounced back in Game 3 with a 6-5 overtime win!
*Home Sweet Home… the LA Kings have won 11 straight games at the Staples Center (including regular season).
*Stingy D… the Kings have allowed just one goal in their last two games… Jonathan Quick has stopped 55 of the last 56 shots he has faced during that span.
*1 away…. Jonathan Quick (25 playoff wins) is just one win away from the Kings franchise leader Kelly Hrudy (26 wins).
*Lots of Ice…. Anze Kopitar leads all LA forwards with averaging 21:16 of ice time in the playoffs.
What they are saying:
“We thought it was a clean hit,” said Joe Thornton regarding the hit by Raffi Torres. “It’s unfortunate that Stoll got hurt…. The way I was brought up - was to keep your head up. When I was six years old I was taught that.”
We have to look around and regroup…. It’s one game,” said Tommy Wingels. “We have some things we need to build on… need to come out and play tonight.”
Traffic! The Sharks need to roll up the sleeves and get in front of the LA net in Game 2. San Jose was able to fire 35 shots on goal in Game 1 and controlled the majority of the play but need to make it more difficult on Jonathan Quick. San Jose went 0-for-3 on the power play in Game 1 and was able to fire just four shots on goal with the man advantage. The Sharks need to bury the puck on the power play. A win in Game 2 would bring home ice back to the HP Pavilion…. GO SHARKS GO!
SHARKS at KINGS
(Los Angeles leads best-of-7 series, 1-0)
TV: NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Big story: Look out, because the Los Angeles Kings appear to be rolling again. The defending Stanley Cup champions not only got the jump on their Western Conference Semifinal series by shutting out the San Jose Sharks 2-0 in Game 1 on Tuesday, they've now won five straight since falling in a two-game hole against the St. Louis Blues in the first round. They're not scoring a ton, but the defense has been tremendous and Jonathan Quick has rediscovered his Conn Smythe form.
Sharks: The only team in this year's postseason to sweep through the first round finally suffered its first loss in the series opener because it simply couldn't solve the masked man at the other end of the ice. San Jose took 35 shots and received three power plays, but couldn't put a puck past Quick.
Sharks forward Raffi Torres did manage to raise the combustion level between these California rivals with a hit late in the second period on Jarret Stoll of the Kings. Torres was given a two-minute minor for charging, their own penalty of the game, and Stoll didn't return for the third.
"To be honest, I didn't really think it was even going to be a penalty," Torres said. "They called it charging, but I don't feel launched myself. I took a step and a half and glided into him. Obviously, he was leaning over. I still feel like I got shoulder to his shoulder, and then it looked -- because he was leaning over -- that I came up a little high … I hope he's alright."
Kings: In addition to Quick's heroics in net, Los Angeles also seems to be replicating last year's formula for success by getting scoring from all over the lineup. Defenseman Slava Voynov had a huge first round against St. Louis, and he picked up his third game-winning goal already this postseason when he beat Antti Niemi with 12.5 seconds left in the first period on Tuesday.
Voynov wasn't done. Another one of his shots at 12:30 of the second was redirected in front by Mike Richards to double the Kings' lead and, with the way Quick was playing, essentially put the game away. Now the team that started all four playoff rounds in 2012 with 3-0 leads will try to sweep the first two games at Staples Center before heading north to San Jose for the weekend.
"We wanted to get off on the right foot," Quick told the Los Angeles Times after his franchise-record sixth career playoff shutout. "But we've got some work to do."
Who's hot: Quick tied Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers with his second shutout of this postseason, while his goals-against average (1.36) and save percentage (.953) are now both improvements over the 1.41 and .946 he posted during the 2012 playoffs.