For the third straight postseason, and the fourth in the last five, the Los Angeles Kings will face off against the San Jose Sharks. (At least, if we're counting postseasons that included both teams.)
With the Washington Capitals resting Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (among others), the Anaheim Ducks cruised to a 2-0 win. As a result, they finished one point ahead of the Kings for the Pacific Division title, setting up a 2 vs. 3 matchup between LA and San Jose. If you remember, that's exactly what happened in 2014, except San Jose had the home ice advantage back then. Hopefully the Kings decide not to lose the first three games this time!
We will update this post with the schedule for Round 1 when it's available; the NHL should be releasing it tonight. Expect LA to start on Thursday, as the Kobe Bryant Farewell Extravaganza on Wednesday coincides with the first day of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. [UPDATE, 8:30 PM: Game 1 will be at Staples Center on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 PM. It will be televised on CNBC. Here's the full schedule.]
2016 First Round: Kings vs. Sharks
|Thursday, April 14||7:30 p.m.||San Jose at Los Angeles||Fox Sports West, CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Saturday, April 16||7:30 p.m.||San Jose at Los Angeles||Fox Sports West, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Monday, April 18||7:30 p.m.||Los Angeles at San Jose||NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Wednesday, April 20||7:30 p.m.||Los Angeles at San Jose||USA, CBC, TVA Sports|
|*Friday, April 22||TBD||San Jose at Los Angeles||TBD|
|*Sunday, April 24||TBD||Los Angeles at San Jose||TBD|
|*Tuesday, April 26||TBD||San Jose at Los Angeles||TBD|
(* if necessary)
A frustrating ending, but look on the bright side: we're getting playoff hockey again. Go Kings Go.
[UPDATE, 2 PM, 4/11: Fox Sports West is set to televise at least the first two games of the series. Nick and Jim!]