Both Kings, Sharks matchups this season have gone to a shootout.
A late-season matchup between a pair of Pacific Division rivals highlights Monday’s National Hockey League action when Los Angeles (45-27-4-2) visits San Jose (46-23-4-5).
The Kings are currently locked in a tight battle with Phoenix for the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings, entering the weekend with 96 points. The team that finishes fourth will get home-ice advantage for the first-round series.
The Sharks presently find themselves in second place, 12 points behind Vancouver. However, San Jose is just a point ahead of hard-charging Detroit in the standings as the regular season starts to wind down.
Versus will provide coverage of Monday’s Pacific Division matchup beginning at 7:00 p.m. PT from San Jose’s HP Pavilion.
Los Angeles improved to 5-1 its last six games after skating past Dallas Saturday as 128 home ‘chalk,’ 3-1. The combined four goals failed to topple the five-goal closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 7-1 the previous eight outings.
The game was tied heading into the third period before the Kings put the contest away. Defenseman Matt Greene scored the go-ahead goal, just his sixth of the season, while Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist and Dustin Brown also lit the lamp. Goaltender Jonathan Quick stonewalled 24 shots in the victory. Los Angeles finished the contest with advantages in faceoffs won, 33-22, and shots on goal, 32-25.
The Kings are 7-2 their last nine games against Pacific Division opponents, while the ‘under’ is 11-4-1 the previous 16 matchups. Los Angeles is now 6-2 its past eight outings following a victory.
San Jose is riding a three-game winning streak after doubling-up Anaheim Saturday as a 157 home favorite, 4-2. The combined six goals eclipsed the 5 ½-goal closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 5-1 the past six performances.
The Sharks rallied from a two-goal deficit with two goals in each the second and third periods. Devin Setoguchi scored the tiebreaking goal, while Patrick Marleau scored twice and Dany Heatley also lit the lamp.
San Jose has now reached the 100-point mark for the fifth straight season. The Sharks can clinch their fourth consecutive division crown with a victory over the Kings. San Jose concluded the contest with advantages in faceoffs won, 29-22, and shots on goal, 33-22.
The Sharks have seen the ‘over’ go 8-1-2 their last 11 games versus Western Conference teams. San Jose is now 20-6 its past 26 games following a victory.
Los Angeles has won the previous two meetings with San Jose, and both outings were determined in a shootout. The Kings prevailed Jan. 26 as 115 home ‘chalk,’ 3-2, and March 24 as a 114 home favorite, 4-3. The ‘under’ is 3-1 the previous four games in this series. Los Angeles is just 8-18 the past 26 matchups in San Jose, and 17-35-1 the previous 53 meetings overall.
Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar (ankle injury) is expected to miss the next month, while right wing Justin Williams (shoulder) is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. San Jose center Scott Nichol (wrist) and defenseman Kent Huskins (upper body) are ‘out.’
The Sharks follow this contest with a two-game road trip against Anaheim and Phoenix before concluding the regular season at home versus the Coyotes. The Kings host Phoenix after this contest before playing Anaheim in a home-and-home series.