With the San Jose Sharks’ chances of winning the Pacific Division getting slimmer by each passing day, the likelihood of a first round matchup in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings becomes stronger and stronger.
Which is why Thursday night’s meeting between the Sharks and Kings becomes a telling game for the potential grueling playoff series to come.
Speaking of the playoffs, the Kings clinched a spot in the postseason with a victory over the Coyotes on Wednesday night. While they are nine points behind the Sharks, they have been on a tear lately (7-3 in last 10 games), and will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.
San Jose, meanwhile, is struggling. The Sharks have dropped four of their last six, including bad losses to the Flames, Jets, and Avalanche. While they did beat the Oilers on Tuesday night, it was clear they did not bring their “A-game,” having to squeak out a 5-4 win.
This season, the Kings have had the upper hand in the rivalry, winning three of four matchups against the Sharks thus far.
Tale of the Tape
- Goals for per game: 2.95 (7th)
- Goals against per game: 2.35 (4th)
- Shots per game: 35.0 (1st)
- Shots against per game: 27.7 (6th)
- Penalty minutes: 705 (5th)
- Power play percentage: 17.3% (19th)
- Penalty kill percentage: 84.1% (8th)
- Goals for per game: 2.44 (T-25th)
- Goals against per game: 2.05 (1st)
- Shots per game: 31.4 (8th)
- Shots against per game: 26.4 (3rd)
- Penalty minutes: 848 (20th)
- Power play percentage: 15.6% (26th)
- Penalty kill percentage: 83.1% (12th)
Sharks: Joe Pavelski (38 G, 37 A), Joe Thornton (11 G, 63 A), Patrick Marleau (32 G, 34 A)
Kings: Anze Kopitar (25 G, 40 A). Jeff Carter (27 G, 22 A), Mike Richards (11 G, 30 A)
Sharks: Tomas Hertl (knee), Adam Burish (hand) and Raffi Torres (knee) are out.
Kings: Dwight King (undisclosed) is day-to-day
SAN JOSE (47-20-9)
LOS ANGELES (45-26-6)
Opening Face-off: 7:30pm PST
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles CA
Tags: San Jose Sharks