KINGS (45-26-6) at SHARKS (48-20-9)
7:30PM PT, TV: NBC SPORTS NETWORK; RADIO: AM 1150
NORTHERN WATERS: This is the fifth and final meeting with the San Jose Sharks this season, and the Kings’ third visit to SAP Center. The Kings are 3-0-1 in their four previous games against San Jose, losing once in a shootout on November 27. The Sharks are outstanding on home ice this season, compiling a 27-6-5 record at SAP Center through 38 home games.
PLAYOFF PREVIEW: The Kings clinched their fifth-straight postseason berth Wednesday night in a 4-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, but it’s been well known for some time now that the standings are aligned for the Sharks and Kings to meet in the first round of the playoffs. The Kings have the Pacific Division’s third seed all but locked up, and the Sharks trail Anaheim by three points for the Division’s top spot, who also have a game in hand on the Sharks.
THE STANDARD: For Kings’ Captain Dustin Brown, solidifying a playoff spot has become the norm. Brown shared his thoughts Wednesday night via LAKingsInsider.com:
“I think with the evolution of this team, four or five years ago this was a big deal, now this is just part of the process. It’s good to get it out of the way now. We need to use our remaining games to get our game in order. [Reporter: No champagne or party hats?] There is nothing to celebrate about making the playoffs. Like I said, that’s not a goal. It’s an expectation.”
4-0 TO FOUR OUT: The Kings embark on their final road trip of the regular season tonight, one that will last four games, and see the Kings pay visits to Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton after tonight’s bout in San Jose before returning home for the regular season finale April 12 at STAPLES Center against the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings, coming into this final road trip, are riding a franchise record eight-game win streak, having not lost on the road since January 28 in Phoenix.
SAY HEY SJ: The last time the Kings visited San Jose’s SAP Center on January 27, they snapped a 154:43 minute goal-less drought, winning their first game in San Jose since April 4, 2011.
Anze Kopitar broke the Kings’ scoring drought and brought the Kings to a 1-0 victory with his valiant goal in the closing minutes of the second period.
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: We’re handing over the live play-by-play broadcast over to NBC Sports Network once again, where you can catch all of the action at 7:30 PM PST. If you’re still in need of a hometown voice, you can catch Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans’ radio broadcast on KEIB AM 1150 ‘The Patriot’.
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