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A look at the Kings-Sharks playoff matchup

The Kings and Sharks split four regular-season games, the home team winning each time. This is the fourth all-California playoff series in NHL history.

May 13, 2013|By Helene Elliott
  • San Jose Sharks center Tommy Wingels, left, checks Kings defenseman Keaton Ellerby into the bench back in April.
San Jose Sharks center Tommy Wingels, left, checks Kings defenseman Keaton… (Reed Saxon / Associated…)

This will be the NHL's fourth all-California playoff series. The Kings beat Oakland in seven games in a 1969 first-round matchup, the Ducks beat the Sharks in the first round in six games in 2009 and the Kings lost to the Sharks in six games in the first round in 2011. The home team won all four games between the Kings and Sharks this season, and three of the four were decided by one goal.

How they got here

KINGS: They beat No. 4 St. Louis in the first round in six games, becoming the first NHL team to win five straight playoff series when playing Game 1 on the road.

SHARKS: They swept the No. 3 Vancouver Canucks in the first round, winning twice in overtime. The Sharks outscored the Canucks 15-8.

Top scorers season

KINGS: Anze Kopitar, 10 goals, 42 points; Justin Williams, 11 goals, 33 points; Jeff Carter, 26 goals, 33 points.

SHARKS: Joe Thornton, seven goals, 40 points; Logan Couture, 21 goals, 37 points; Patrick Marleau, 17 goals, 31 points.

Top scorers playoffs

KINGS: Mike Richards, no goals, five points; Kopitar, one goal, four points; Carter, three goals, three points.

SHARKS: Joe Pavelski, four goals, eight points; Couture, three goals, eight points; Thornton, one goal, six points.


KINGS: Jonathan Quick's regular-season numbers weren't impressive: 18-13-4, 2.45 goals-against average, .902 save percentage. His playoff numbers (1.58 goals-against average, .944 save percentage) are close to his 2012 postseason MVP levels.

SHARKS: Antti Niemi (24-12-6, 2.16, .924) is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded by NHL general managers to the top goalie. Against Vancouver he compiled a 1.86 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.

Penalty kill

SEASON — KINGS: 83.2% (10th); SHARKS: 85.0% (sixth).

PLAYOFFS — KINGS: 88.2% (fourth); SHARKS: 80.0% (ninth).

Power play

SEASON — KINGS: 19.9% (10th); SHARKS: 20.1% (eighth).

PLAYOFFS — KINGS: 13.3% (12th); SHARKS: 29.2% (second).

Worth noting

KINGS: This will be the first time the Kings will have home ice in a playoff series since 1992, after starting 16 straight series on the road. The Kings emerged from the first round with some bruises: rugged left wing Kyle Clifford missed the series finale and is questionable for the opener Tuesday. DefensemanMatt Greene, injured late in the regular season, has yet to play in the postseason. The Kings' power play was only two for 15 against St. Louis, but they killed 15 of 17 disadvantages.

SHARKS: Moving defenseman Brent Burns from defense to forward in early March and putting him alongside Joe Thornton might have saved the Sharks' season. Burns' presence revitalized Thornton and gave the team a much-needed abrasive edge. Defenseman Jason Demers missed the first round because of a foot injury but might play this round. Forward Martin Havlat (groin) is doubtful for the opener and forward Adam Burish (hand) is out for the entire round.

They said it

KINGS: "We'll be ready," Coach Darryl Sutter said when asked his concerns about facing the Sharks. "Both teams have had two or three days off. They've had a couple of injuries. We have. So I'm just more anxious to get playing, more than concerned."

SHARKS: "They're big and physical," forward Tommy Wingels told the San Jose Mercury News about the Kings. "We saw how intense their first series was, so they're obviously playing good hockey, having won four straight. Any time we play them, it's physical, that's for sure."

Twitter: @helenenothelen

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