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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NHL Playoffs Start Time, Odds San Jose Sharks at LA Kings Game 7

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It's Game 7 tonight in the Western Conference semifinals of the NHL Playoffs as the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings host the San Jose Sharks. Tonight's game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Kings favored to move on.

Not much better than a Game 7 in the NHL Playoffs. Both of these teams have played very well to get to this point in the Western Conference Playoffs and there certainly will be an edge here tonight for the defending champion Kings, who are playing at home.

San Jose was able to force the seventh and deciding game tonight 2-1 win on Sunday. In every game so far this series the home team has picked up the victory, meaning the Kings are going to have a lot going for them in tonight's game. During the regular season the home team won each of the games as well. And to make the point even more, the home team has won 15 of the past 16 meetings the past two seasons.

For the first time in two years, the Kings are one game away from playoff elimination. They never even faced a potential elimination game during their 16-4 rampage to the Cup last year, but the Sharks have pushed them to the brink while moving one win away from their third trip to the Western Conference finals in four years. Awaiting the winner of tonight's contest will be tomorrow's winner between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, who have now got a Game 7 on their hands as well in the Windy City.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been putting a lot of pressure on LA goalie Jonathan Quick, but only one of these games has had a high-scoring final when the Kings won 4-3 in Game 2. If you are looking to get down on tonight's game with some action, the goal total is set for just 4.5, meaning oddsmakers are predicting a very close, low-scoring affair. The last four games have only had three goals scored in each contest.

San Jose is looking to extend this run into another conference finals. This year is the ninth straight the Sharks have made the playoffs and yet haven't gotten to the Stanley Cup Finals just yet. The Kings had been struggling prior to last year as well, winning just one playoff series in the previous 17 seasons. 

If there is an edge for the Sharks in this one, it's that their veteran guys have played in this scenario. There really isn't anybody on the Kings that has played in a Game 7 spot in the playoffs. In last year's amazing run the Kings never got to the seventh and all-deciding game. That playoff edge for San Jose, even though they haven't won the whole thing, will be crucial tonight. Yet it's going to be tough to beat Quick and the Kings at home.

Free Pick: Kings 2, Sharks 1

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  • Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Pregame.com.

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