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NHL on NBCSN: Kings, Sharks compete in likely playoff preview

Apr 3, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

Los Angeles Kings' Anze Kopitar, of Slovenia, top left, trips over San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock as he scores during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) AP

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the San Jose Sharks host the Los Angeles Kings at the SAP Center at 10:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Sharks and Kings have faced each other in twice in the previous three postseasons and have each come away with a series win. Now Round Three looks probable, so this match will serve as a potential playoff preview.

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The fact that these two powerhouses might play against each other right off the bat should make for a great show, especially with expectations so high for both teams.

Los Angeles will try and one-up Chicago’s recent success by claiming the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years. In order to do that, they need goaltender Jonathan Quick to remain at the top of his game. Quick frustrated the Sharks in the second round of the 2013 playoffs and has won both of his starts against them this season. Fresh off his 17-save shutout on Wednesday, he might be back in net tonight.

The Kings will also need help from one of the new faces in this rivalry: Marian Gaborik. This will be his first game against the Sharks since the Kings acquired him from Columbus. He’s on a five-game point streak and the hope in Los Angeles is that he can continue to bolster the team’s anemic offense.

Los Angeles ranks 25th in the league in goals per game, down from 10th in the shortened campaign. That’s not an issue that the Sharks share. Although Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are both firmly in their mid-30s, they haven’t slowed down and Joe Pavelski has set new career-highs with 38 goals and 75 points in 77 games.

The Sharks will also be held to a high standard in the playoffs, but they are also being looked at in a different light. Los Angeles has proven it can excel when it counts the most. San Jose, on the other hand, has clinched a postseason berth for the 10th straight season and still hasn’t made it beyond the Western Conference Final.

There have been 19 playoff appearance streaks that have lasted longer than the Sharks’, but of them, only six ran their course without a single championship. To put it another way, of the six teams that are currently in position to make the playoffs for at least the fifth consecutive season, San Jose is the only one to have nothing to show for their run.

Beating the Kings tonight won’t change that, but it would be the opening salvo in San Jose’s bid to finally shake the stigma surrounding them.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Let’s stop talking about the playoffs and PLEASE JUST GET THEM STARTED!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m ready!!

  2. sjsblitz - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM


    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      No, please. Go, KINGS, Go!!! Beat the Sharks!

  3. sjsharks66 - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Sharks are a totally different team then last year. If Hertl and Torres make it back for playoffs, that would be great. Having the home ice will be a huge plus as well. If I was a Kings fans I would be slightly worried. Then again, I am a Sharks fan and I am still pretty worried about playing the Kings in the first round..
    Hopefully this is the year for San Jose to win the cup.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      While we’re both rooting for our teams to win, let’s also both hope for a great and safe series.

      Good luck!

      P.S. I’m not worried.

    • sjsharks86 - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      Dude, if we get both of them back imagine what the lines could potentially look like if TMac doesn’t screw them up;


      Sharks would be scary deep up front

      • patthehockeyfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:36 AM


        First, I’m not a dude. I’m a woman (or, a dudette? Is that a word?).

        Second, while your lineups are formidable, Kings don’t scare easily.

        Look, I’m having fun with this. It’s a good rivalry in SoCal.

      • blomfeld - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        “The Sharks would be scary deep up front” ? …


        Sure pal, scary like a bunch of goldfish on sale “5 for 99 cents” at the local pet store ! The bottom line is that you Sharkies and the rest of the entire league start ‘quivering’ in your skates at the thought of playing us Kings ! … you know that, I know that and PHT knows that !

        GO KINGS GO !!! … CRUSH THE SHARKS !!! … GOOD TIMES !!! :)

  4. sjsharks86 - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    I was responding to SJSharks66, not you, Kings-Sharks have gotta be the greatest Western Conference rivalry right now and I can’t wait for the playoffs to start so we can watch these teams battle it out.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Sorry! I didn’t pay attention to the 86 versus 66. My bad.

      Apologies for the interference.

  5. sjsharks66 - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Yeah Pat, I knew you were a lady. 😛

  6. bigstick13 - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Over/under on number of times D.Brown turtles in this game when challenged to fight?

    • wtfkwp - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Over/under on the number of times some idiot makes a comment about one of the best, most complete players in the game needing to fight for cred.

      • bigstick13 - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        “best, most complete players in the game”

        From Points – 26 257th in the NHL; +/- 5 178th in the NHL; GW Goals – 2 138th in the NHL; his best rank S – 183 78th in the NHL.

        Go back to to writing movies down there in SoCal at least there having a good imagination is helpful.

      • wtfkwp - Apr 3, 2014 at 8:21 PM

        @tinystick – Do you have any idea what “complete player means? It means he’s not all about stats.

        BTW, I’m not in SoCal, and that shows what you know.

      • blomfeld - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:35 PM

        YOU TELL ‘EM FRIEND ! :)

        The bottom line is that Dustin Brown is by far the most ‘Nelsonian’ captain in the NHL today, no two ways about it ! Brave, intelligent, strong, proud, caring, creative, humorous and resourceful are just a few of the adjectives which could be appropriately used to describe our beloved captain. And by the way, he has ‘strong’ knees too ! :)


  7. sharksman - Apr 3, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    look Sharks?kings matchup is a great one , hard series and home ice is huge
    Sharks have only won once against them this year and that was a shootout so sharks really need to show something tonight
    Im ok with a first round matchup with the kings because there is no easy road to the cup
    Go Sharks !!!

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      Nice comment!

      Go, Kings!

      • sharksman - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        see how easy this is ! LOL
        no name calling no stupid comments
        just stating your opinion and hoping your team wins !
        Have to like it :)

      • blomfeld - Apr 3, 2014 at 11:42 PM

        Blomfeld: Panzer 1 to Panzer 2, over ?

        Joey: Panzer 2 here, over ?

        Blomfeld: Panzer 2, blow that piece of junk ‘Sharksman’ off the bridge !

        Joey: consider it done comrade !

  8. areaman714 - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Go Kings. Yes. I just tasted my vomit. Ducks, Kings, Sharks. To beat any of those two teams in successive 7game series is a very tall order. Hope my Ducks win the Pacific.

    • sharksman - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      So you would rather face the kings in round 2 ?
      Based on the Sharks experience this year I would say I would rather face the Ducks than the Kings but surprised that a Duck fan would rather face the kings.. Less travel though
      Good Luck !
      But Go Sharks !!!!!

      • wtfkwp - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        The Ducks and Kings fans obviously eagerly await the inevitable first time the “cross-town rivalry” meets in the playoffs. You wouldn’t understand. It’s a SoCal thing, NoCal.

    • areaman714 - Apr 3, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      No. The go Kings was a reference to tonight’s game as a Kings victory puts the Ducks closer to the Pacific crown. Playoff-wise, would rather face only one of them. I am hoping, emotionally to face the Kings because it would be insanely awesome! Not to diss a series with the Sharks, mind you . . . Whatever, the Pacific is sickly good this year and the playoffs are going to be great! I can’t imagine anyone back east not staying awake to watch these games.

  9. wtfkwp - Apr 3, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    A team in decline who calls the other its biggest rival, against a proven champion, still on its way up.

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