National Hockey League
Preview
Los Angeles at San Jose
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 17, 2014
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

The San Jose Sharks will have revenge on their minds when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series on Thursday. San Jose met Los Angeles in the second round last postseason, dropping a tight matchup that went seven games and had five decided by one goal. The home team won each contest, with four ending with 2-1 decisions - including each of the Sharks' three victories.

Home ice also proved to be important in the five-game regular-season series between the Pacific Division rivals as the road team came away with just one victory. Four of those five contests also were one-goal decisions, with each club capturing a pair. San Jose, which knocked off Los Angeles in six games in their first-round series in 2011, won the most recent meeting - a 2-1 home triumph on April 3 that ended Los Angeles' eight-game road winning streak.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, FSN West (Los Angeles), CSN California (San Jose)

ABOUT THE KINGS (46-28-8, 3rd in Pacific Division): Drew Doughty is expected to be in the lineup for the series opener after missing the final four games of the regular season with an upper-body injury. The defenseman appeared to hurt his shoulder while delivering an open-ice check on Tyler Kennedy in the first period of San Jose's 2-1 victory on April 3. "I've known I'm good to go," Doughty said. "I don't need (battle drills) to test my strength or anything like that."

ABOUT THE SHARKS (51-22-9, 2nd in Pacific Division): Several members of the Sharks had stellar seasons, none moreso than Joe Pavelski. The United States Olympian finished third in the league with a career-high 41 goals and also set a personal best with 79 points. Antti Niemi tied for second with 39 victories while captain Joe Thornton registered 65 assists - three behind league leader Sidney Crosby.

OVERTIME

1. The Sharks will have their hands full with Jonathan Quick, who captured the William Jennings Trophy while finishing fifth in the league with a 2.07 goals-against average and tied for second with six shutouts. Quick, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2012, has recorded three blankings in each of the last two postseasons.

2. Kings RW Marian Gaborik has proven to be a solid addition to the roster, collecting 16 points in 19 contests after being acquired from Columbus and ending the season with a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists).

3. Pavelski scored seven goals over his final nine regular-season games while Los Angeles C Anze Kopitar tallied seven times in his last eight contests.

SERIES PREDICTION: Kings in 6
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Los Angeles 46-28-2-6 L1 23-14-2-2 23-14-0-4 5-2-0-0 41-26-2-6 16-10-0-3
San Jose 51-22-2-7 W2 29-7-1-4 22-15-1-3 5-4-0-0 46-18-2-7 ---
Last Meeting
Los Angeles San Jose
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/3/14 LA 1 SJ 2 27 19 0-5 21 26 1-2
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Los Angeles A. Martinez 1
San Jose D. Boyle 1
Goals Player  
Los Angeles J. Nolan 1
San Jose L. Couture 1
Assists Player  
Los Angeles A. Martinez 1
San Jose D. Boyle 1
Saves Player  
Los Angeles M. Jones 19
San Jose A. Niemi 26
Season
Total Points Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 73
San Jose J. Pavelski 87
Goals Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 31
San Jose J. Pavelski 43
Assists Player  
Los Angeles A. Kopitar 42
San Jose J. Thornton 68
Saves Player  
Los Angeles J. Quick 1144
San Jose A. Niemi 1622
Quickchart Matchup
Los Angeles Off vs  San Jose Def
2.41 GF
2.35 GA
31.6 Shots
27.8 Shots
43 PP
33 PK
San Jose Off vs  Los Angeles Def
2.91 GF
2.05 GA
34.8 Shots
26.2 Shots
50 PP
50 PK