Sharks Try To Steal One At Staples: Game 2 Preview


May 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) and defenseman Scott Hannan (27) defend the goal against Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi (7) in the second period of game one of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Sharks to a 1-0 series leads. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After being shut out in Game 1 by the L.A. Kings, the San Jose Sharks will once again be looking for their first win of the series.

While Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in his Game 1 masterpiece, not many of those were quality shots.  Many of those shots were from long distance or bad angles while plenty more did not have any screens in front of Quick.  Beating the Kings and their goaltender will require more than just peppering the net with harmless shots.

For Los Angeles it looks like we will be having a lineup change with forward Jarret Stoll not at the Kings’ morning skate.  Instead it looks like Brad Richardson will fill his spot on the fourth line, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

There may also be a possible change in the lineup for San Jose pending Raffi Torres’ hearing with the NHL later today.  It was his hit that knocked Stoll out of Game 1, and it was an apparent clean hit where the first contact wass shoulder to shoulder. However, there was clearly contact between Torres’ shoulder and Stoll’s head.

An unfortunate thing for the Sharks is that Torres has been great for San Jose and his possible absence from tonight’s game will be a big one.  He’s been great for the team all season and has made a huge impact on the new first line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau.  Even his presence on the second power play unit has been very positive.

While we await Brendan Shanahan and his ‘Wheel of Justice,’ we all know that Torres’ history will be taken into consideration.   With the hearing currently in progress over in New York it seems unrealistic to think he’ll even be back in time for Game 2 if he is somehow absolved of his ‘crime.’

Either way the Sharks have the tough task of trying to earn a win in Game 2 on the road to earn the split away from their own building.  The power play will have to be more productive than it was in Game 1 if the Sharks want a chance.  They Kings are a pretty disciplined team and do not give up many opportunities, so when the chances arise you have to take them.

Also key for the Sharks tonight will be the forecheck which seemed to disappear at times in Game 1.  Look for the Sharks to step it up there.  I would also not be surprised if the defense gets a little more active in the offensive zone in order to keep the puck in the zone.  They have been very good at it all year and doing so would help create more offensive chances to beat Quick.