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Kings-Sharks Game 7 Preview

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Two teams enter with their seasons on the line.

Ezra Shaw

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)

Time: 6.00 PM

TV: RDS, TSN, NBC Sports Network

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Previous series coverage: Preview | Game 1 coverage | Game 2 coverage | Game 3 coverage | Game 4 coverage | Game 5 coverage | Game 6 coverage

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Marleau-Couture-Pavelski
Galiardi-Thornton-Burns
Sheppard-Gomez-Wingels
Kearns-Desjardins-Burish

Vlasic-Braun
Irwin-Boyle
Hannan-Stuart

Niemi

Injured: Havlat; Scratched: Demers, Kennedy, Hamilton, Oleksuk, Pelech, Stalberg, Acolatse, Demelo, Petrecki, Tennyson

Kings (projected) lineup:

Clifford-Kopitar-Williams
Penner-Richards-Carter
King-Lewis-Brown
Richardson-Fraser-Nolan/Toffoli

Regehr-Doughty
Scuderi-Voynov
Muzzin-Greene

Quick

Injured: Mitchell, Stoll (THANKS, RAFFI); Scratched: Martinez, Ellerby, Nolan/Toffoli, the Manchester Monarchs

Game notes:

  • GAME SEVEEEEEEN. Read Eric's history lesson on Kings Game 7s here.
  • #FreeTylerToffoli, #FreeAlecMartinez, etc. Darryl Sutter isn't a coach afraid to make big changes, but he seems content that his current lineup can get the job done. I'm a bit baffled by his continuing confidence in Jordan Nolan and Jake Muzzin, but at this point, I don't care if he has Anze Kopitar centring Andy Andreoff and Linden Vey - as long as the Kings win.
  • The Sharks look to be lining up the same as they did in game six, with Adam Burish in for Tim Kennedy on the fourth line. Justin Braun, who got banged up during game six, seems to be okay, so the d-pairings stay the same as well.
  • The most heartening part of the Kings' lacklustre play in game six, for me, was the relative success of the penalty kill. The 5-on-3 goal was a bit crushing, but the four-minute penalty kill after the high-sticking call was a beauty. The Sharks have struggled a great deal to score at even strength during this series (and much of that credit goes to Jonathan Quick, who has been absolutely stellar) - if the Kings can shut down their power play as well, that obviously bodes well.
  • Of course, they also need to score some goals of their own. As we saw on Sunday (post - post - post- POST), a lot of that has to do with luck. But a stronger return to the aggressive, net-crashing, absolutely stifling play we saw in game 5 wouldn't hurt either.
  • Prediction: Kings win, the Sharks suck, the Leafs suck, the Avs suck, everyone else sucks - especially Patrick Roy. On to the Conference Final, which the Kings will obviously win in 4.