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. Capuano continues auditions for Tavares line

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:18 PM EDT

    Cory Conacher Getty Images

    Cory Conacher is probably up next.

  2. Giroux (lower body) a ‘possibility’ Tuesday

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:44 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    He’s running out of opportunities to get into an exhibition contest.

  3. Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:54 PM EDT

    Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    This has been a rough preseason for Columbus.

  4. Hodgson feels ‘really comfortable’ at left wing

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Cody Hodgson Getty Images

    Will he be able to build off of his 2013-14 campaign though?

  5. Mason adjusting to new Wells Fargo lights

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:51 PM EDT

    Steve Mason, Mike Cammalleri AP

    This is certainly the time to do that.

  6. Heatley out a week with groin injury

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has two goals in the preseason.

  7. Gettin’ the band back together: Blues hire Gainey as Hitch’s consultant

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

    bob gainey

    If you were a member of the Dallas Stars at the turn of the century, you could get a job next!

  8. Ducks send ’14 1st-rounder Ritchie back to junior, release Yip from PTO

    Sep 29, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Prospects Nic Kerdiles and Stefan Noesen headed to AHL Norfolk.

  9. All three Canuck kids skating together tonight

    Sep 29, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Bo Horvat AP

    Bo Horvat may have the inside track over Hunter Shinkaruk and Nicklas Jensen to make Vancouver’s opening-day roster.

  10. Leafs release Tallinder from PTO

    Sep 29, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT

    Tallinder_Henrik

    Veteran blueliner suffered a separated shoulder during the preseason.

  11. Bruins release Leino; Boychuk staying put?

    Sep 29, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

    Ville Leino AP

    Peter Chiarelli addressed the media today in Boston.

  12. Wild put d-men Falk, Blum on waivers

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Both have over 100 games of NHL experience.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2413)
  2. R. Johansen (2098)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1938)
  4. D. Stepan (1873)
  5. E. Malkin (1815)
  1. J. Drouin (1792)
  2. F. Forsberg (1738)
  3. J. Staal (1686)
  4. C. Giroux (1584)
  5. T. Krug (1580)