Skip to content

NHL on NBCSN: Kings, Sharks battle for home ice advantage

Apr 16, 2013, 9:07 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 16: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with the puck against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center on March 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the San Jose Sharks host the Los Angeles Kings at the HP Pavilion at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Just how important is home ice advance in the playoffs? Well, it would probably help these two teams, given that they’re a combined 30-5-6 at home this season and just 16-22-5 on the road.

That’s what’s at stake tonight as the Kings currently hold the fourth seed, but have a mere one-point lead over the Sharks. This is their second last game against each other and consequently one of their last opportunities to push down the other squad.

Naturally, given these teams’ disparity between their home and road records, the advantage would seem to be with San Jose tonight. However, the Sharks are at the end of a three games in four days stretch that included a contest in Phoenix last night.

San Jose won that match, but fatigue has to be a concern against the rested Kings.

For the Sharks, perhaps their biggest challenge tonight will be containing Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. When Carter’s hot, he’s one of the most dangerous scorers in the league and lately he has six goals in eight games. Meanwhile, Richards is taking a six-game point streak into this contest.

Although he played last night, the Sharks might counter with goaltender Antti Niemi. He earned a 35-save shutout against Phoenix on Monday and has traditionally been very good against the Kings in regular season games. He has a 9-4-2 record, 2.39 GAA, and .922 save percentage in 16 career non-playoffs starts against Los Angeles.

These two teams will also wrap up the season against each other on April 27 and at this rate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them meet each other in the playoffs.

Probable goaltenders: LAK – Jonathan Quick (15-12-3, 2.50 GAA, .898 SV%) | SJS – Niemi (21-10-6, 2.13 GAA, .925 SV%)

Top scorers: LAK – Anze Kopitar (10-27-37, 41 GP) | SJS – Joe Thornton (7-30-37, 42 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Los Angeles – Defensemen: Willie Mitchell (knee), Matt Greene (back)
San Jose – Defensemen: Scott Hannan (upper body)

Latest Posts
  1. Bordeleau (back) out about three months, others Avs limp into camp

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Jamie McGinn and John Mitchell also rank among the already-wounded.

  2. Bruins GM on Krug, Smith: ‘They’re not going anywhere’

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT

    Torey Krug, Patrice Bergeron, Justin Florek, Reilly Smith, Kevan Miller AP

    Peter Chiarelli also (kinda sorta) addressed Johnny Boychuk rumors.

  3. Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’

    Sep 18, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT

    Josh Harding AP

    He won’t be paid or count against the cap while he’s injured.

  4. Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau

    Sep 18, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks - Game Seven Getty Images

    Maybe the English version of his book will be kinder?

  5. Columbus reacts to Horton (back) being out indefinitely

    Sep 18, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    At least the Blue Jackets’ GM is ruling out surgery.

  6. Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    He’ll miss at least months, GM Ron Hextall said.

  7. Jagr: ‘I want to play until 50′

    Sep 18, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr, Travis Zajac AP

    Hey, he’s got less than eight years to go.

  8. Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT

    Willie Desjardins AP

    “I don’t think I had a conversation with Torts until Christmas last year.”

  9. Silent Blue: Armstrong will no longer comment on Schwartz

    Sep 18, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Doug Armstrong AP

    “The next time I’ll talk publicly about Jaden is when we sign him.”

  10. Rangers to name new captain at end of camp

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    McDonagh

    And it’s probably going to be Ryan McDonagh.

  11. Eakin, Dillon still without contracts in Dallas

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

    Cody Eakin, Corey Perry AP

    Two key youngsters on a Stars team with high hopes.

  12. Veteran d-man Lee going to Preds camp on PTO

    Sep 18, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

    Ottawa Senators v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Former first-round pick missed extensive time to a torn ACL.

  13. Ex-1st rounder Barker goes full circle, will attend ‘Hawks camp

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT

    Cam Barker AP

    Remember him? Taken 3rd overall in 2004… behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

  14. Wings lose young sniper Mantha (6-8 weeks) to broken tibia

    Sep 18, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

    AnthonyMantha

    Tough blow for a kid looking to make the leap this season.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Johansen (2243)
  2. J. Harding (1831)
  3. D. Alfredsson (1535)
  4. J. Quick (1340)
  5. S. Crosby (1318)
  1. S. Bennett (1260)
  2. D. Kuemper (1212)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1089)
  4. B. Schenn (1077)
  5. J. Tootoo (1036)