The Western Conference semifinals continue tonight with Game 4 between the LA Kings and the San Jose Sharks. The game is scheduled for a 10:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Sharks favored to even the series tonight.
San Jose battled back from an 0-2 hole after dropping the opening two games in Los Angeles to win Game 3. Tonight they have their eyes on evening the series at home against a tough, physical Kings team. But even that game went into overtime, meaning the three games have been decided by a combined four goals in this series to date.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan said his team can ill-afford to drop the intensity or hustle in tonight's game. They were able to work harder than LA in that third game but only were able to win the game in overtime. They need to continue to bring the intensity tonight.
Logan Couture's power-play goal in overtime gave the Sharks the win. LA took some bad penalties late in that game that ended up being the reason they probably lost. The Sharks have been dominant all season on home ice, going 17-2-5 in the regular season that included two wins over Los Angeles. Patrick Marleau has got to find a way to score in tonight's game for the Sharks. He's scored five times for the squad so far this post season, which is the most on the team.
San Jose has scored on an NHL-best 28.4 percent of power plays at home during the regular and postseason compared to just 13.6 percent on the road.
Antti Niemi has gotten the Sharks five wins in their seven playoff games with a goals against average of 2.06 and saving better than 92.6 percent of the shots he's faced so far. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has gone 6-3 in playoff games. He's saved nearly 95 percent of the shots he has faced to this point and has an impressive 1.67 goals against in those playoff games this post season.
Mike Richards and the Kings will be looking to steal one here tonight. LA played very well in the last game, forcing overtime. If they are able to pick up a win in tonight's game, the series will pretty much be over. LA will then be heading home to close it out and the Sharks just won't be able to win the last three games of the series. Tonight's game is obviously a huge one for the Sharks. Look for them to capitalize.
Free Pick: San Jose 3, Los Angeles 1
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