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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 16th (All times Eastern)
(6) San Jose Sharks (0-1) at (5) Los Angeles Kings (1-0), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to extend their lead in the Western Conference semifinals, as they host the San Jose Sharks in Thursday's Game at Staples Center.
The defending Stanley Cup champions used a strong performance from Jonathan Quick in Game 1 to stake themselves to a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven set.
Quick, the reigning Conn Smythe winner, posted 35 saves to notch his second shutout of this postseason and lead the Kings to Tuesday's 2-0 defeat of the Sharks. Quick, who also shut out St. Louis in Game 3 of the first round, fought off 16 shots in the third period on Tuesday.
Quick's six career playoff shutouts are a franchise record and his 25 career postseason wins is one away from tying the team mark set by Kelly Hrudey.
Slava Voynov and Mike Richards registered a goal and an assist apiece for the Kings, who have won 11 straight games at Staples Center dating back to the regular season. L.A. also has won five straight since dropping the first two games of the conference quarterfinals to the Blues.
The fourth-seeded Kings, who were 19-4-1 as the host during the regular season, also have home-ice advantage at the start of a playoff series for the first time since 1992.
"It felt weird to be honest with you, but it is what it is," Kings forward Anze Kopitar said of starting a series at home. "It's nice to have home ice and it's nice to stay home an extra day, but we realize that we're going to have to do it on the road at some point too."
Antti Niemi allowed both goals on 20 shots for the sixth-seeded Sharks, who turned in a four-game sweep of the Northwest Division-champion Vancouver Canucks in the opening round. Tuesday's contest was San Jose's first game since eliminating the Canucks on May 7.
"We have to find ways to score," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "We have to make it a lot harder on them. And did we generate some chances? Yes, but we didn't win the game."
As of Thursday morning, there was still no word on whether Sharks forward Raffi Torres will be suspended for his hit on Kings center Jarret Stoll in Game 1. Torres was given two minutes for charging on the play, which occurred near the end of the second period.
Torres, of course, is considered a repeat offender and he was given a 25-game suspension for a vicious check on Chicago's Marian Hossa during last year's playoffs. That suspension was ultimately lowered to 21 games, but Torres still missed the first eight games of this season.
The NHL requested an in-person meeting with Torres for his hit on Tuesday, meaning he could be suspended for as many as five games.
Stoll, meanwhile, never returned to Tuesday's contest and is likely to miss Game 2.
San Jose, which will host Game 3 on Saturday, was 8-14-2 as the road team this season.
This marks just the second postseason meeting between these two Pacific Division rivals. The Sharks got the best of the Kings in six games during the 2011 conference quarterfinals.
The Kings and Sharks split four regular-season meetings this year, with each team winning twice at home.
05/16 11:05:00 ET