Kings/Sharks: Game 3 Preview

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 16: Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings tries to keep his eye on the puck behind Devin Setoguchi #16 of the San Jose Sharks in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the HP Pavilion on April 16, 2011 in San Jose, California. The Kings won the game 4 to 0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Kings Roster Notes: (IN) Jonathan Quick, Kevin Westgarth, Trevor Lewis, Jarret Stoll  (OUT) Oscar Moller, Peter Harrold, Davis Drewiske; Anze Kopitar (ankle), Scott Parse (hip)

Sharks Roster Notes: (IN) Antti Niemi, Ian White (presumed to be starting) (OUT) Jason Braun, Andrew Desjardins, John McCarthy

Pregame bullets:

  • Copper and Blue has the scoring chances for Game 2.  As you would expect, low for both sides.  Cliffy a +4!  Go dog, go.
  • Fun with extremely small sample sizes!  Quick in the playoffs so far: 1.34 GAA, .962 SV%.  Niemi in the playoffs: 2.68 GAA, .897 SV%.
  • Extremely small special teams sample sizes: LA's penalty kill is 7/7 (1st among teams in the postseason), power play is 3/9 (33.3%, tied for 2nd).  That's enjoyable to look at, at least.  The Kings still need to stay out of the box, and they should expect SJ to adjust their PK.  (Unless the Sharks don't want to. I'm cool with that.)
  • In his post-game interviews, McLellan sounded extremely chagrined about letting LA take any kind of lead, since they protect it so well.  On the flip side, the Kings never want to be forced to play catch-up.  Will the team that has the lead coming out of the first have an edge on the mental side of the game?  Probably.
  • While this is a fairly young team, the Kings have several veterans with significant post-season experience (and 3 with Stanley Cup rings).  Collectively, members of the team have played 477 playoff games before this series began.
  • I'm not going to lie: the win last Saturday was a big flippin' deal to me.  I yelled, I danced in my chair, and a day later I was still grinning ear to ear.  Heck, I'm grinning now.  But really? The only thing they accomplished was to tie the series up.  Staples will be amped, no question, but the Kings will need to stay on an even keel and execute the gameplan.

The only thing that matters is getting 3 more wins.  Let's see how they respond.

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