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NHL playoffs first look: No. 2 San Jose vs. No. 7 Kings

The Kings play the Sharks in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The teams have met six times this season, with each team winning three.

April 10, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • Sharks center Patrick Marleau and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty battle for the puck during the first period at HP Pavilion last week.
Sharks center Patrick Marleau and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty battle… (Jason O. Watson / US Presswire )

They met six times this season, with each team winning three. However, two of the Kings' victories were in shootouts and the shootout isn't used in the playoffs. The Kings lost the first game, 6-3, at San Jose on Nov. 15, got a 24-save shutout from Jonathan Quick in a 4-0 win on Dec. 27, were shut out by Antti Niemi on Jan. 1, won in a shootout at Staples Center on Jan. 26 and again by shootout at home on March 24, and were routed, 6-1, at San Jose last Monday.

Regular-season records

KINGS: 46-30-6; SHARKS: 48-25-9.

Top scorers

KINGS: Anze Kopitar 25 goals, 73 points (injured and out of series); Justin Williams 22 goals, 57 points; Dustin Brown 28 goals, 57 points.

SAN JOSE: Patrick Marleau 37 goals, 73 points; Joe Thornton 21 goals, 70 points; Joe Pavelski 20 goals, 66 points.

Worth noting

KINGS: Williams, who dislocated his right shoulder March 21, was cleared to practice starting Monday and is possible for the opener. The Kings lost their last two games and four of their last six, scoring 11 goals in their last seven games. Their power play was one for 23 in that span.

SHARKS: Winger Ryane Clowe missed the last three games because of a lower-body injury but was expected to practice Monday and to play in the opener. Defenseman Dan Boyle ranked second in the NHL with an average of 26 minutes 14 seconds' ice time per game.

Goaltenders

KINGS: Jonathan Quick: 35-22-3, 2.24 goals-against average, .918 save percentage. He was the first Kings goalie to record back-to-back 30-win seasons.

SHARKS: Antti Niemi: 35-18-6, 2.38, .920. He had started 33 straight games until he got a game off last Wednesday at Anaheim.

Penalty kill

KINGS: 85.5% (fourth); SHARKS: 79.6% (24th).

Power play

KINGS: 16.1% (21st); SHARKS: 23.5% (second).

Last time in the playoffs

KINGS: 2010. They lost to Vancouver in the first round in six games.

SHARKS: 2010. They beat Colorado and Detroit to reach the West final for the first time since 2004 but were swept by Chicago.

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