Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 season:
Game 26 @ San Jose
November 27, 2013
7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
While very few of their matchups lack an exciting storyline, Wednesday night’s tilt between the Los Angeles Kings (16-6-3) and San Jose Sharks (15-3-5) marks a game with a lot at stake despite still being in the early stages of the season.
Wednesday will mark the second of five meetings between the Sharks and Kings this year with Los Angeles drawing first blood back on October 30 at Staples Center in a dramatic come-from-behind overtime win.
This time, however, the Kings enter the unfriendly confines of HP Pavil- err, SAP Center having lost their last six regular-season games there. In addition, the Sharks have only lost one regulation contest in 10 outings on home ice so far this season. Conversely, the Kings have earned points in their last 10 games. Needless to say, something has got to give.
As previously mentioned, there is some excitement heading into Wednesday night as both the Kings and Sharks are tied for second place in the Pacific with 35 points. Even more exciting is that due to first-place Anaheim’s third-period meltdown in Dallas on Tuesday, the Kings and Sharks sit just two points behind the Ducks for tops in their division. So, for the time being at least, whoever wins at the Shark Tank on Wednesday will share first place in the Pacific.
For the Kings, they enter their matchup in San Jose on a high. Despite having trouble scoring at times, the Kings are 7-0-3 in their last 10 with goaltender Ben Scrivens playing outstanding in the absence of the injured Jonathan Quick. In addition, Los Angeles’s defense hasn’t lacked any hustle or effort making Scrivens all the much easier lo these last couple of weeks.
Coming off a come-from-behind overtime win in Vancouver on Monday night, the Kings got a shot in the arm when Jeff Carter returned to the lineup after suffering a broken foot. In his first game back, Carter set up Mike Richards for the late-tying goal en route to the win. Even Kyle Clifford notched his second of the year, just two games after returning to the lineup from a concussion. Even Anze Kopitar is getting hot having registered four points in his last four games which includes the OT-winner against the Canucks last game.
For the Sharks, Joe Thornton has scored five goals in his last five games while Tyler Kennedy has points in his last three outings which includes his team’s game-winner against New Jersey last game.
After last spring’s dramatic seven-game playoff series, this state rivalry has elevated to new levels – so don’t expect anything different come Wednesday.
Enjoy the game!