Sharks Still Searching For First Win Of The Series: Game Preview


May 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner (25) shoots the puck as San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) and center Joe Pavelski (8) defend the goal during game two of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Sharks 4-3 to take a 2-0 series lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing loss in Los Angeles in Game 2, the San Jose Sharks head back home with the hopes of evening the series. Down 2-0 in a series is not the biggest of holes to climb out of, but it definitely is not a great position to be in.

There are a few things that San Jose can take from their loss the other night to the Kings, mainly how well they played for the majority of the game.  They dominated zone time and possession for pretty much two full periods.  The Sharks also looked good for part of the third, mostly until they gained the lead and Los Angeles turned up the heat, ending with 18 shots in that third period.

Patrick Marleau also stayed hot for San Jose, tallying his fifth goal of the playoffs in six total games. He was the guy who finally solved the Jonathan Quick puzzle, and after that, the Sharks had no problem scoring on the Kings netminder.

San Jose also dominated in the face off circle, winning that battle 44-21. Obviously, the loss of Jarret Stoll really hurt the Kings, and the Sharks took advantage. Look for that to continue in Game 3.

Unfortunately, it was special teams that was abysmal once again.  The power play failed to register a goal once again on four opportunities and had problems entering the zone.  The penalty kill was also just as bad allowing three goals on six Kings power plays including their final two goals in the last three minutes of the game.

If the Sharks want to defeat the Kings, they have to cut down on the the penalties, because six chances is just too many. The power play also needs to step up. They had flashes of brilliance, but in the playoffs you need to take advatage of the mimimal amount of chances you get.  Not scoring on the power play is one of those things that just cannot happen.

With the Sharks playing at home tonight I expect them to come out with a pretty good jump.  I expect San Jose to come out strong not only because they will be energized by the crowd, but also because down 2-0 in the series there will be an added sense of urgency.  If they end of coming out flat it could be a long game for the Sharks.