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Kings-Sharks Game Preview: Playoff Preview?

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The Kings and Sharks meet for Game #3 of the season series tonight, in what looks increasingly likely to be a first-round playoff match-up.

USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (HP Pavilion)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: NBC Sports Network, KCOP-13

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Season series: Game 1 | Game 2

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Galiardi-Thornton-Burns
Marleau-Couture-Havlat
Torres-Pavelski-Wingels
Desjardins-Burish-Gomez

Vlasic-Braun
Irwin-Boyle
Stuart-Demers

Greiss?

Injured: n/a ; Scratched: Kennedy, Sheppard, Hannan, Tennyson

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Carter
King-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Richardson-Nolan

Regehr-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Muzzin-Ellerby

Quick

Injured: Greene (back), Mitchell (knee); Scratched: Fraser, Martinez, Toffoli

Game notes:

  • At this point, the Scuderi/Voynov and Regehr/Doughty pairings are each playing almost 40% of the game. I am not a math expert, but I am pretty, pretty sure that means that Darryl Sutter does not trust the Muzzin-Ellerby pairing to bear any kind of significant load. Which I'm also pretty sure means we are in for some scary times during the playoffs.
  • Just something to keep in mind as Matt Greene is cleared for contact. Maybe soon we'll be able to breathe during the penalty kill again.
  • FREE ALEC MARTINEZ
  • Free Tyler Toffoli too, while we're at it. I'm quite content with how the top nine has settled down, but I still have concerns about the stability and effectiveness of the fourth line, and I just don't think it will hurt noticeably to re-insert Toffoli into the lineup.
  • The Kings head into the Tank to face a Sharks team that destroyed the Coyotes last night, hanging three on them in the second period, and holding on for the 4-0 shutout win. The Kings, meanwhile, are looking for the Battle of California two-fer after scraping out a win against the Ducks on Saturday. The Sharks are now 7-2-1 in their last 10, while the Kings are 6-2-2.
  • Given that the Sharks will be playing their second game of three in four days, I am guessing that Thomas Greiss might get the start. He hasn't played much this season, and I do not remember being particularly impressed when he was up against the Kings, but his EVSV% is .910, which is not dreadful for a seldom-used backup, I guess?
  • Jonathan Quick's EVSV% is now up to a sterling .908. lol.
  • I'm just being mean. I thought that he played a fine game against the Ducks, aside from the hilarious short-handed miscue. I might be alone in this, but I no longer feel the jittery foreboding I did when he started games early & mid-season - I genuinely think he's rounding into form. Your thoughts?
  • Fun! With! Numbers!:
    Team
    GP
    Points
    ROW
    Goal
    Differential
    Home/Away
    Record
    PP%
    PK%
    Kings (4th, West)
    42 52
    22
    +16
    8-10-3 20.0 (9th)
    82.3 (15th)
    Sharks (5th, West)
    41 49 14 E
    14-1-5 19.1 (13th)
    86.3 (4th)
  • After lingering with the Blues for a while, Sports Club Stats now says that the Kings' most likely first-round opponent will be the Sharks, and that seems right to me. Neither team is going to catch the Ducks, and Minnesota looks unlikely to upend the Canucks for the Division title, while the Sharks and Kings have steadily been keeping pace with each other in the last little while.
  • Start revving up the hate now, is what I am saying.
  • Prediction: Kings win 4-2, because what kind of degenerate organisation trades for Raffi Torres?