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National Hockey League
Preview
Los Angeles at San Jose
When: 10:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 20, 2014
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The opening game of the Western Conference first-round series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings certainly didn't resemble the tightly contested seven-game war in which the Pacific Division rivals battled in the second round last postseason. Capitalizing on home-ice advantage did follow the script, however, and San Jose looks to continue the trend when it hosts Los Angeles in Game 2 on Sunday. The Sharks stormed out to a five-goal lead Thursday before withstanding a third-period comeback attempt and coming away with a 6-3 triumph.

Brent Burns, defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and rookie Tomas Hertl each recorded a goal and an assist as San Jose set the tone for an offensive series after fewer than four tallies were needed to win six of the seven games in last year's matchup - with four contests being 2-1 decisions. The home team did capture each game of the series, as well as four of the five regular-season meetings between the California clubs. The Kings will need a stronger performance from Jonathan Quick, who allowed five goals on 28 shots before being replaced for the third period.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FSN West (Los Angeles), CSN California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE KINGS: Quick certainly did not display the form that earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012, badly losing track of the puck on San Jose's first tally and yielding a pair of goals from long range. Captain Dustin Brown was not ready to place any blame on this season's William Jennings Trophy winner. "He made a lot of huge saves for us," Brown said. "It just happened they had too many grade-A scoring chances." Defenseman Drew Doughty returned to the lineup after missing the final four regular-season games with an upper-body injury suffered against the Sharks on April 3 and recorded five shots on goal while blocking four.

ABOUT THE SHARKS: Raffi Torres hasn't played much for San Jose this season due to knee troubles, but he's been effective on the rare occasions he's been in the lineup. The 32-year-old agitator has landed on the scoresheet in five of the six games he's appeared - including the series opener, collecting four goals and two assists. In addition to scoring a goal Thursday, Torres continued his usual style of play by registering a team-high seven hits. "That's Raffi," Hertl said. "All the guys are happy that Raffi is again playing. Raffi is very, very important for our team."

OVERTIME

1. San Jose was clicking on all cylinders offensively in Game 1 as each of its four lines contributed a goal.

2. Los Angeles G Martin Jones made his NHL postseason debut, stopping all four shots he faced in the third period Thursday. San Jose backup G Alex Stalock has yet to appear in a playoff game.

3. D Justin Braun was the only member of the Sharks not credited with at least one of the team's 52 hits in Game 1. The Kings delivered 69 hits, with RW Justin Williams the lone skater not involved.

PREDICTION: Kings 3, Sharks 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Los Angeles 46-29-2-6 L2 23-14-2-2 23-15-0-4 5-2-0-0 41-27-2-6 16-11-0-3
San Jose 52-22-2-7 W3 30-7-1-4 22-15-1-3 5-4-0-0 47-18-2-7 ---
Last Meeting
Los Angeles San Jose
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/17/14 LA 3 SJ 6 34 27 0-3 33 31 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Los Angeles J. Carter 1
San Jose B. Burns 2
Goals Player  
Los Angeles T. Lewis 1
San Jose B. Burns 1
Assists Player  
Los Angeles J. Carter 1
San Jose J. Sheppard 2
Saves Player  
Los Angeles J. Quick 23
San Jose A. Niemi 31
Season
Total Points Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 74
San Jose J. Pavelski 88
Goals Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 31
San Jose J. Pavelski 43
Assists Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 43
San Jose J. Thornton 68
Saves Player  
Los Angeles J. Quick 1167
San Jose A. Niemi 1653
Quickchart Matchup
Los Angeles Off vs  San Jose Def
2.42 GF
2.36 GA
31.7 Shots
27.9 Shots
43 PP
33 PK
San Jose Off vs  Los Angeles Def
2.95 GF
2.1 GA
34.7 Shots
26.3 Shots
51 PP
51 PK