San Jose at Los Angeles
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, April 27, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Two Pacific Division rivals close out their regular-season schedules Saturday, when the San Jose Sharks visit the Los Angeles Kings in what may be a preview of a first-round playoff series in the Western Conference. San Jose and Los Angeles trail the St. Louis Blues by one point for fourth place in the West. A Sharks win over the Kings in either overtime or a shootout and a Blues regulation loss at home to the Chicago Blackhawks would put San Jose in fourth place and Los Angeles in fifth.
San Jose has lost two of its last three games, including a 2-1 setback against the Coyotes in Phoenix on Wednesday. The Sharks are a disappointing 8-13-2 on the road. Los Angeles looks to end the regular season on a high note as it scored a total of two goals in back-to-back road losses to the Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Kings have won six straight home games and are 18-4-1 at the Staples Center.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (25-15-7): Logan Couture has a good chance at being a finalist for the Selke and Lady Byng Trophies. Couture leads all forwards in the West with 51 blocked shots and is second in the league to Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers, which should garner him some consideration for the Selke. With 36 points and only four penalty minutes, Couture figures to be a strong candidate for the Lady Byng.
ABOUT THE KINGS (26-16-5): Captain Dustin Brown will complete his two-game suspension for elbowing Minnesota's Jason Pominville in the head on Tuesday. Brown tried not to watch his team's loss to Detroit on Wednesday. "I've been trying to stay busy," he said. "I don't like watching." Despite the club's poor home record during the regular season, Anze Kopitar does not believe that will translate into the postseason. "Once playoffs start, it's a totally different story," he said.
1. San Jose is 2-1-0 in the season series, with both wins coming at home. Los Angeles also was victorious in its own building.
2. Kopitar is in the midst of a 15-game goalless drought. He has not scored since March 25 at Chicago.
3. The home team has won four in a row and is 8-0-2 in the last 10 games in the all-time series.
PREDICTION: Kings 3, Sharks 1
Stats and Records