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. Two Seattle arena proposals, now pitted against each other

    Apr 28, 2015, 2:28 PM EDT

    Seattle Getty Images

    Nothing like a little competition to get things done.

  2. Hamonic suffered torn MCL on Scuderi hit, no surgery required

    Apr 28, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

    Rob Scuderi, Travis Hamonic Getty Images

    Isles defenseman missed the entire opening-round series loss to Washington.

  3. Here’s the Stanley Cup playoffs Round 2 schedule

    Apr 28, 2015, 1:54 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators - Game Four Getty Images

    Kicks off on Thursday with the Rangers taking on the Caps, and the Flames facing the Ducks.

  4. Poile: Preds hoped Franson trade ‘would work out better’

    Apr 28, 2015, 12:25 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    “It wasn’t a perfect fit, to be honest.”

  5. Rutherford admits mistakes, but has support of Penguins ownership

    Apr 28, 2015, 12:21 PM EDT

    Mike Johnston Press Conference Getty Images

    Should be an interesting offseason in Pittsburgh.

  6. Malkin, Tarasenko to play for Russia at Worlds

    Apr 28, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    Though the former will be on the limp.

  7. Wings’ Kronwall has hearing today for hit on Kucherov

    Apr 28, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT

    Niklas Kronwall Getty Images

    Occurred late in the second period on Monday night.

  8. Fisher, Ribeiro express desire to remain with Preds

    Apr 28, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT

    Mike Fisher Getty Images

    Both are unrestricted free agents this summer.

  9. PHT Morning Skate: Paul Pierce chirps the Islanders

    Apr 28, 2015, 8:07 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 7.57.34 AM

    Tuesday’s collection of links.

  10. Tavares struggles to believe ‘it’s really over’ for Isles

    Apr 28, 2015, 12:04 AM EDT

    John Tavares AP

    It’s also tough to say what happens next.

  11. Video: Breaking down Kuznetsov’s series-clincher for Caps

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT

    Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brooks Orpik Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brooks Orpik

    Barry Trotz says he has the joy of a kid and the maturity of a man.

  12. Not done yet: Lightning earn Game 7 against Red Wings

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:55 PM EDT

    Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat AP

    Some great individual performances propel Tampa Bay.

  13. Milbury throws out rules, much like the NHL

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    Mike Milbury

    Game 7 is one of those “let them play” games.

Featured video

Price brilliant for Habs
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2363)
  2. S. Weber (2105)
  3. A. Burrows (1993)
  4. M. Giordano (1927)
  5. M. Zuccarello (1916)
  1. K. Letang (1668)
  2. C. Price (1647)
  3. D. Carcillo (1620)
  4. L. Bouma (1532)
  5. K. Klein (1477)