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Kings-Sharks Game Preview: Grand finale

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The Kings close out the 2013 season with Kyle Clifford and Jarret Stoll in the top six, just like we all expected.

USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)

Time: 7.30 PM

TV: NBC Sports Network

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Season series: Game 1 recap | Game 2 recap | Game 3 recap

Sharks (projected) lineup:

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

Hannan-Boyle
Vlasic-Braun
Irwin-Stuart

Niemi

Injured: (none); Scratched: Kennedy, Sheppard, Tennyson

Kings (projected) lineup:

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

Regehr-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Muzzin-Ellerby

Quick

Injured: Mitchell (knee) Greene (not back); Scratched: Fraser, Martinez

Game notes:

  • Boy, that season went by fast. Almost felt like they only played half the games or something.
  • Lineup news: Matt Greene sits out again, currently day-to-day with a non-back injury suffered during the loss to the Red Wings. Darryl Sutter lost Alec Martinez's phone number, so Keaton Ellerby plays tonight. Also, the forward lines are all totally nuts.
  • Hey, maybe Anze Kopitar will score a goal tonight :(
  • The Sharks look mostly the same as the last time these two teams met. Of note: Brent Burns is still a forward (again), Raffi Torres still exists, and Antti Niemi isn't going to win the Vezina he probably deserves because the Sharks aren't scrappy underdogs in the Eastern time zone.
  • Final fun with numbers:
    Team
    GP
    Points
    ROW
    Goal
    Differential
    Home/Away
    Record
    PP%
    PK%
    Kings (5th, West)
    47 57
    24
    +14
    18-4-1 20.0 (8th)
    83.2 (10th)
    Sharks (6th, West)
    47 57 17 +9 8-13-2 20.1 (7th)
    84.9 (6th)
  • I think we've all seen the implications of this game already, but just in case, here it is one more time: the division leaders are locked in to their positions. If the Kings win, they will play the Blues in the first round. If the Kings lose in regulation, they will play the Canucks in the first round. If the Kings lose in OT/SO, and the Blues lose in regulation, the Kings will play the Sharks in the first round. If the Kings lose in regulation, and the Blues win or lose in OT/SO, the Kings will play the Canucks in the first round.
  • Note that the Blues are playing the Hawks tonight, with Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Seabrook, Keith and Hjarmalsson all scratched, so, uhh, yeah.
  • Prediction: something something joke about repeating history and Ryaneeee Cloweeeee something. Kings close out the season with a decisive 5-0 victory. Martin Havlat gives everyone the finger again. Go Kings Go.
  • Playoff coverage will probably be a bit different, so in case I'm not doing the previews: thanks for reading! You guys are great.