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Playoffs tonight: Detroit and San Jose look to change things up

May 18, 2013, 10:32 AM EST

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Two Getty Images

The second-round rolls on today with the Western Conference front and center for action today. One afternoon affair and another in the evening for all your viewing pleasure.

Please keep in mind that both games can be watched online in addition to the channels listed below.

Game 2: Chicago Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings — (1 p.m. ET, NBC)
Chicago leads series 1-0

It’s just the second game of this series, but you couldn’t help but feel things got away from Detroit in Game 1. A couple of late goals helped swing what was an even match-up into a relatively easy 4-1 win. For Detroit to try and steal one on the road, they’re going to need some help.

That assistance might come in the form of forward Drew Miller who might suit up today after missing 12 games with a broken hand. He was supposed to miss the rest of the season, so perhaps a little of inspiration could motivate the Red Wings. When it comes to trying to beat the Blackhawks, anything that can help you overcome the waves of talent they throw at you helps.

That said, outclassing Chicago’s depth players is where the challenge is. Sure, Detroit can match up Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Johan Franzen against Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Marian Hossa but it was goals from Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger that took Detroit out of Game 1. If they can do that the Wings might just get out of their own zone and we might just have a series to boot.

Game 3: San Jose Sharks host the Los Angeles Kings — (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Los Angeles leads series 2-0

You can call tonight’s Game 3 a must-win game for the Sharks. After a crushing 4-3 loss in Game 2, things seem stacked up against San Jose as they look to avoid another playoff disappointment.

The big question here is: How do the Sharks bounce back from it? Being back at home where they’ve dominated this season should do the trick. Counting the playoffs, the Sharks are 19-2-5 at HP Pavilion. They’ll need that home-ice help if they’re to overcome a Kings team that’s looking ever more like the team that won the Stanley Cup last season.

Making life harder for the Sharks, it’s possible forward Kyle Clifford returns to action for L.A. tonight. The rugged forward is the ideal sort of playoff player in that he hits a lot and can help push the offense. The Sharks could counter with some offensive help of their own as Martin Havlat could be ready to play as well.

Thing to look for: Can the Sharks keep their minds off the officials after how Game 2 finished up or will an iffy call early mentally derail them? They’d better hope so or else this series could be over in short order.

  1. bleedingteal4life - May 18, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I’m tired of getting my hopes up for these guys. They need to figure out what the issue is and fix it. They really don’t have any excuses for the way they are playing. They managed to beat the kings without raffi Torres before so it honestly shouldn’t be that big of a deal. They just need to pull their heads out of their @sses, work together, and stay out of trouble. The kings are masterminds in drawing penalties, and the sharks have been playing right into their little traps. Sharks, play like the professional athletes u r and win some games at home.

    • 22lakings22 - May 18, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      Spoken like a true Sharks fan…already giving up on their team. Guess you don’t really bleed teal for life. Weren’t you the guy who said that it was the NHL’s fault that the Kings won game 2? So what is it…did the NHL win the game for the Kings or did the Sharks lose it? If the Kings are masterminds at drawing penalties, then what do you call the Sharks in Round 1? I’m tired of all these whiny Sharks fans making asinine statements.

  2. sjsharks66 - May 18, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Speak for yourself. I stand behind my Sharks win or lose. They should be able to take these 2 games at home. This series is about to be interesting.

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