San Jose Sharks Look For First Road Win Of Series In Game 7


May 21, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) comes out of the shark head during the game four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Well, here we are.  It’s game seven of the Western Conference semifinals between the San Jose Sharks and the L.A. Kings.  The Sharks have never led in this series and have twice comeback to tie it.  Tonight they get their one and only chance to win the series outright.

Once of the biggest story lines all series has been the fact that the home team has won every game.  Both teams are undefeated at home in the playoffs so no doubt the Kings have the advantage there.

The Sharks have a tough uphill battle to face, but one that they can no doubt undertake given what this team has gone through this season.

Your biggest stars have to play their best in the big games, so if the big names don’t show up, don’t expect San Jose to win.

On the flipside, if they can keep Los Angeles’ top guys quiet, such as Jeff Carter and Dustin Brown, they have a good chance to come out on top. That’s easier said than done though.

The biggest thing for San Jose tonight will once again be special teams.  They went 1-for-5 in game six, and while that is great, Todd McLellan did express that he would still have liked to see more out of his power play.

The penalty kill did had its own struggles as well despite only being out there or two penalties.  The Kings had the unfortunate luck of hitting a few posts during those powerplays.  If even one of thoses had gone in we would have had a very different game.   

Also, the team who has scored first in this series has won the game.  With that in mind it is imperative the Sharks get off to a good start.  If they can get out to an early lead it would no doubt get their confidence up as well as help to slow down the Kings.  A goal would quiet the crowd, a crowd which will be doing everything they can to give the Kings as much energy as possible.

But, even if they Shark are able to get out to an early lead, they’ll need more spectacular goaltending from Antti Niemi.  That, and a stellar defense in the third which completely shut down any hopes the Kings had of winning the series a game early.

It will have to be a complete, all around game to knock off the defending Stanley Cup Champions.  After all, they are the champs for a reason.  Even one little mistake can make or break the game tonight.  The Sharks will have to be clean and crisp gettting in and out of both zones or else the Kings will make them pay.  We’ll see what happens!

Also, don’t forget to check back in a bit for the live blog which will open in about an hour!

Beat L.A.!