16: Preview, Sharks @ Kings, Western Conference Round One, Game 2

Will a couple of players back equal a bounce back?

2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, First Round

Game 2: San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings

Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
Location: Staples Center
TV: CNBC, Fox Sports West, CSN-CA
Live Stream, Radio, International & More: here

Projected* Lines

San Jose Sharks

Hertl - Thornton - Pavelski
Donskoi - Couture - Ward
Nieto - Marleau - Karlsson
Spaling - Tierney - Wingels

Vlasic - Braun
Martin - Burns
Dillon - Polak


Los Angeles Kings

Lucic - Kopitar - Gaborik
Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
Brown - Lecavalier - Versteeg
King - Shore - Lewis

McNabb - Doughty
Muzzin - Schenn
Scuderi - McBain


Scratched: Clifford Injured: Martinez, Nolan, Greene

* especially for LA

Game Notes:

  • The Kings' line combinations are based on the morning skate and, specifically, Jon Rosen's observationsfrom the skate. According to Darryl Sutter, if Marian Gaborik says he's good to go, he will be in.
  • That pretty much means he'll be in.
  • Alec Martinez will not be, and that is incredibly worrisome. His absence is not on the "OH MY GOD WE'RE DOOMED" level, but it will force players other than Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty to assume atypical roles. Brayden McNabb, often the overlooked member of the D corps, needs to step up tonight.
  • In his place? Jamie McBain, making his first career playoff appearance. He has played well this year, improving (in my estimation) over his initial season with the Kings. He deserves his shot.
  • Also, Nick Shore might draw in. This fourth line, behind a half-decent third line, would have made me ecstatic in October. Now? I just can't see them scoring, but if they can lock down, so be it.
  • Of course, that would require some scoring higher on the lineup. Anze Kopitar had an assist on Carter's bizarre goal and could have had a tap-in on Muzzin's bank shot, but he was outshone (and outmuscled) by Joe Pavelski. He'll be angry. Will Sutter let him go up against Joe Thornton's line again?
  • The Sharks won't change much. Don't need to.
  • PREDICTION: I said I had no idea who would win Game One. I think LA will win this one to steal "road ice advantage."