Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks (-130, 5)
Los Angeles leads series 2-0.
Entering their Western Conference second-round series against their Pacific Division rivals, the sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks were one of the most dangerous teams on the power play this postseason. Heading into Game 3 at HP Pavilion on Saturday, the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Kings are the ones clicking with the man advantage. San Jose finds itself in a must-win situation thanks to Los Angeles' power play, which converted three times on six opportunities - including twice in a 22-second span late in the third period - en route to a 4-3 home triumph on Thursday that gave the reigning Stanley Cup champions a 2-0 series lead.
The Sharks were 7-for-24 on the power play during their four-game sweep of the Northwest Division champion Vancouver Canucks in the first round. They have been unable to cash in against the Kings, going 0-for-7 over the first two games. Defenseman Drew Doughty gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead at 4:10 of the second period with a man-advantage tally and captain Dustin Brown forged a 3-3 tie during a 5-on-3 with 1:43 remaining in the third. Trevor Lewis completed the improbable comeback shortly after the ensuing faceoff with San Jose still down a skater.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS
ABOUT THE KINGS: Brown believes having a large chunk of players from last season's championship team on the roster already has paid dividends this postseason. "Experience is one thing. It's another thing to have all that experience together as a group of guys because that goes a long way when you get yourself into a hole," Brown told the Los Angeles Times after Game 2. "We didn't play a great game, but we found a way to win." The Kings also were in a hole when they lost the first two games of their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues. All that experienced group of players has done is win six consecutive contests since. Jarret Stoll did not play on Thursday after receiving a hit to the head from Raffi Torres in the series opener. While not a marquee name, Stoll has been a key part to Los Angeles' success. "He may not be a top-two-line guy for us, but he's got a lot of fingerprints all over the game every time we have one," defenseman Rob Scuderi told the Times. The Kings have won 12 consecutive home games.
ABOUT THE SHARKS: Game 1 may have been the last contest played by Raffi Torres in a San Jose uniform. An unrestricted free agent after the season, the left wing was suspended for the remainder of the series as a result of his head shot on Stoll. Torres has been banned several times during his career, most notably last postseason when he received a 25-game suspension - which later was reduced to 21 games - for a hit to the head of Chicago's Marian Hossa. Captain Joe Thornton didn't think Torres' hit on Stoll was dirty at all. "We were kind of shocked to hear that he has to fly to New York for the hearing," Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News on Thursday. "We didn't see anything wrong on the play." Coach Todd McLellan believes his was the better team in Game 2, save for the 22-second span late in the third period. "When you get three (goals), you'd better beat this team," McLellan said. "We've got to get back to San Jose and feel good about what we did for 59 minutes. ... There's a lot of good to take out of that game. I liked a lot. I disliked the fact that we lost."
* Home team is 11-1 in the last 12 meetings.
* Over is 5-1-3 in the last nine meetings.
* Kings are 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Kings are 10-25 in the last 35 meetings in San Jose.
1. Kings C Anze Kopitar left Game 2 in the opening minute of the third period after being hit in the left side of his face with a puck but returned midway through the session.
2. With Torres suspended, LW Tim Kennedy was inserted into San Jose's lineup. As a result, C Scott Gomez was moved up to the third line and took advantage of the promotion by recording two assists.
3. Sharks C Patrick Marleau has scored a goal in five of his team's six playoff games.