Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks- Western Conference Semi-Final Preview

By Keith Schultz

Apr 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie

Antti Niemi

(31) makes a save against Los Angeles Kings center

Tyler Toffoli

(73) during the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Series– #5 Los Angeles Kings vs #6 San Jose Sharks

Season Series– These teams met four times with the home team walking away with the W each time.

Series Schedule

Game 1- San Jose Sharks vs  Los Angeles Kings at Staple Center Tuesday May 14 9pm NBCSN

Game 2- San Jose Sharks vs Los Angeles Kings at Staple Center Thursday May 16 9pm NBCSN

Game 3- LA Kings vs San Jose Sharks at HP Pavillion Saturday May 18 8pm NBCSN

Game 4-LA Kings vs San Jose Sharks at HP Pavillion Tuesday May 21 9pm NBCSN

Game 5- San Jose Sharks vs LA Kings at Staples Center 9:30 pm NBCSN

Game 6- LA Kings at San Jose Sharks at HP Pavillion Sunday May 23 TSN

Game 7- San Jose Sharks vs LA Kings at Staples Center TSN

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks season started out with a bang then they seemed to hold on to the very end. In the opening round of the playoffs they seemed to rekindle their season opening form by dispatching of the Vancouver Canucks in a sweep.  The two big factors early in the season was their powerplay was phenomenal and Patrick Marleau was playing out of his mind. Marleau played great in the Canucks series and will need to continue his play if the Sharks hope to beat the Kings.  Another Sharks player that stepped up against Vancouver that cannot disappear against LA is Joe Pavelski. The Sharks will need his speed and scoring to make it to the West Finals.

Leading ScorerLogan Couture (3 goals 5 assists)

Backstop– Antti Niemi- .937 Save percentage 1.86 Goals against

Ex-Hawk Factor– Niemi- The Cup winning goalie for the Hawks in 2010

LA Kings

After a real shaky start in St Louis, the Kings found their form and won four straight games to set up this series with the Sharks.  Like last year when the Kings were almost dormant to the very end of the season, the Kings are starting to gain form at the right time. The biggest advantage for the Kings in this series will be Jonathan Quick who really could have been a head case after the start in St Louis, but he buckled down and helped lead the Kings to their fifth consecutive playoff series victory.  Like the Blackhawks, the Kings have four lines that all can score and contribute so there is never a breather with a fourth line skating.

Leading ScorerMike Richards (5 assists)

Backstop– Jonathan Quick- .944 save percentage 1.58 Goals Against Average

Ex-Hawk FactorColin Fraser

Prediction Sure To Go Wrong– The Sharks will have to play a perfect series to get past the Kings who seemed to have regained Championship form. This still should be a physical series with the Kings prevailing in 6 games.