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Stanley Cup preview: How the Penguins and Sharks match up

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 48-26-8, 104 points SAN JOSE SHARKS 46-30-6, 98 points. How they got here: The Penguins defeated the New York Rangers in five games, the Washington Capitals in six, and the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven. The Sharks defeated the Kings in five games, the Nashville Predators in...

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  • What we learned from the Kings' 6-3 loss to the Sharks

    What we learned from the Kings' 6-3 loss to the Sharks

    A few more takeaways before the Kings move on -- not to the second round, but to a long spring and summer of off-season issues after a first-round loss to San Jose. Inability to establish a lead Too often in the series, the Kings gave up goals early. In five games, they ended up leading for just...

  • Three keys to the Kings' 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks

    Three keys to the Kings' 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks

    Here are three keys from the Kings' 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks: 1.) Another slow start: San Jose scored the first goal in the final four games of the series. The Sharks took the crowd out of this one, quickly, by scoring 68 seconds into it. 2.) Regaining momentum: The Sharks’ Patrick Marleau...

  • Nothing the Kings did was quite good enough this season

    Nothing the Kings did was quite good enough this season

    A handshake instead of another Stanley Cup championship. A season ended with a beautiful but brief tease and a first-round playoff exit. What had the makings of another epic rally against a familiar foe ended Friday with the Kings' 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks, pushing them into an off-season...

  • Kings eliminated from playoffs by San Jose Sharks in 6-3 loss

    Kings eliminated from playoffs by San Jose Sharks in 6-3 loss

    The year started off so promisingly for the Kings. They were motivated, healthy and rested after a 2014-15 season in which they uncharacteristically missed the playoffs. All of the summer's main distractions — starting with Slava Voynov's departure to Russia — were well behind them by the start...

  • With Los Angeles Kings on brink of playoff elimination, Coach Darryl Sutter criticizes officiating

    With Los Angeles Kings on brink of playoff elimination, Coach Darryl Sutter criticizes officiating

    The many personalities of Kings Coach Darryl Sutter generally surface at some point in a playoff series, and Thursday a new one popped up. It was "Send-A-Message Darryl." In addressing the larger issue of special teams play in the first-round series against the San Jose Sharks, Sutter argued tha...

  • What we learned from the Kings' 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks

    What we learned from the Kings' 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks

    A few more takeaways before the Kings prepare for an elimination Game 5 on Friday in Los Angeles. The Sharks lead the best-of-seven series, three games to one. The Kings’ best players need to step it up So far, the Sharks’ Big Three -- Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Brent Burns -- have been the...

  • Three keys in the Kings' 3-2 loss to the Sharks in Game 4

    Three keys in the Kings' 3-2 loss to the Sharks in Game 4

    The Sharks took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series Wednesday night, beating the Kings, 3-2, at the SAP Center. Here are three keys from the Sharks win over the Kings: 1. Sharks power play: San Jose adjusted after going 0 for 5 on the power play in Game 3. The Sharks were a force on the power...

  • What we learned from the Kings' 2-1 victory over San Jose

    What we learned from the Kings' 2-1 victory over San Jose

    A few more takeaways before moving on to Wednesday’s Game 4 here in San Jose. San Jose leads the first-round playoff series, two games to one. Game 3 = overtime Yes, the third game of the playoffs in a series between the Kings and the Sharks is bound to head to overtime. This was the fourth time...

  • Tanner Pearson's overtime goal gives Kings a 2-1 win and new life in playoff series against Sharks

    Tanner Pearson's overtime goal gives Kings a 2-1 win and new life in playoff series against Sharks

    The Kings kept insisting that this playoff series against the San Jose Sharks was far closer than the overall picture indicated. On Monday, their actions backed up their words. With a 2-1 victory in Game 3, the Kings cut their series deficit in half and avoided facing the specter of an elimination...

  • Three keys to Kings' 2-1 victory over Sharks in Game 3

    Three keys to Kings' 2-1 victory over Sharks in Game 3

    The Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks, 2-1, on Tanner Pearson's overtime goal at the SAP Arena in Game 3 of their first-round playoff matchup. Here are three keys to the Kings victory: 1. Special teams: The Kings' penalty killers were busy throughout and tired by the end. San Jose, which was ranked...

  • Kings hope to find shooting accuracy after falling behind, 2-0, to Sharks

    Kings hope to find shooting accuracy after falling behind, 2-0, to Sharks

    A sign of just how seriously the Kings are taking their 2-0 deficit in their series against the San Jose Sharks: On Sunday, a day off in the series, the Kings met for 45 minutes at their practice facility and then went on the ice for a brisk 20-minute skate to shake out the cobwebs. Normally, in...

  • What we learned from the Kings' 2-1 loss to the Sharks

    What we learned from the Kings' 2-1 loss to the Sharks

    A few more takeaways before the playoff series moves north, to San Jose, for Game 3 on Monday. The Kings trail, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series. Gaborik should make an impact  It all seemed there for the skilled winger, except for the finishing touch. Marian Gaborik played his first game since...

  • Sharks again outplay Kings, who vow to push back while facing 2-0 series deficit

    Sharks again outplay Kings, who vow to push back while facing 2-0 series deficit

    Sharks goaltender Martin Jones had finished a long round of interviews and was headed back to his stall in the visitors' locker room after San Jose's 2-1 playoff victory over the Kings on Saturday at Staples Center when he found one last person waiting for him, someone he couldn't ignore. Chris...

  • Three keys to the Kings' 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks

    Three keys to the Kings' 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks

    Taking a look at three keys to the Kings' 2-1 loss to the Sharks in Game 2 on Saturday: 1. After saying they took too many penalties in Game 1 and couldn’t repeat that, the Kings took too many penalties and paid for it. Milan Lucic was penalized for charging and Tyler Toffoli for roughing at 8:14...

  • It's too little and too late for 0-2 Kings

    It's too little and too late for 0-2 Kings

    Marian Gaborik didn't exactly ride to the rescue Saturday night upon his return to the Kings' lineup. Playing for the first time since injuring his right knee back on Feb. 12, the goal-scoring hero of the Kings' 2014 playoff couldn't immediately find his finishing touch against a resilient San...

  • Sharks feeling at home on the road in playoff series against the Kings

    Sharks feeling at home on the road in playoff series against the Kings

    San Jose Sharks Coach Peter DeBoer graciously credited his predecessor, Todd McLellan, for constructing a potent power play, which was a key asset to the team during the regular season and produced one goal in the Sharks’ 4-3 victory over the Kings on Thursday in the opener of the teams’ first-round...

  • Kings might have Marian Gaborik in lineup for Game 2 against the Sharks

    Kings might have Marian Gaborik in lineup for Game 2 against the Sharks

    If all goes well, Kings winger Marian Gaborik could be playing against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2, which would be his first action since spraining his right knee on Feb. 12. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said on Saturday morning that Gaborik has been “medically cleared,” and the decision will be...

  • Kings' Drew Doughty ready to play big minutes in Game 2

    Kings' Drew Doughty ready to play big minutes in Game 2

    One of the questions Kings defenseman Drew Doughty faced Friday had to do with carving out time to rest during the long and grinding playoff road. That was more appropriate than usual. Doughty had better get ready to play Doughty-esque minutes — meaning, a lot — the rest of the series against the...

  • What we learned from the Kings' loss to the Sharks in Game 1 of Western Conference first round

    What we learned from the Kings' loss to the Sharks in Game 1 of Western Conference first round

    Here are three things we learned from the Kings’ 4-3 loss to the Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference first round on Thursday, along with a few more takeaways before they try to regroup for the second game of the series on Saturday. Joe Pavelski’s star turn The big players had big games for...

  • Three keys to Kings' 4-3 loss to Sharks in Game 1

    Three keys to Kings' 4-3 loss to Sharks in Game 1

    The Sharks were able to pull out a back-and-forth, 4-3, contest over the Kings in Game 1 at Staples Center Thursday night. Here's three keys to how the game played out: 1) Faceoffs: The Kings gave up two goals right off faceoffs. It That is a particular irritant to Kings Coach Darryl Sutter and...

  • Kings' bad habits carry over into playoff opener

    Kings' bad habits carry over into playoff opener

    Asked Thursday morning whether the Kings' strong penalty killing and the San Jose Sharks' potent power play would carry over into the teams' playoff opener, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter insisted both teams would start at zero and with a new slate.“Nothing comes out of the regular season that carries...

  • Sharks draw first blood as Joe Pavelski scores twice in 4-3 win over Kings

    Sharks draw first blood as Joe Pavelski scores twice in 4-3 win over Kings

    The highlight package between the Kings and San Jose Sharks on Thursday night was something you usually see at the end of a hard-fought playoff series with an overlay of sweeping music.There was often-brilliant goaltending, plenty of hard hitting, own goals, goal-saving stands and savvy playmaking...

  • To advance in the playoffs, Kings must get past Sharks' Joe Thornton (and his beard)

    To advance in the playoffs, Kings must get past Sharks' Joe Thornton (and his beard)

    There was the 82-point season resulting in a fourth-place finish in NHL scoring, a return to the playoffs and one epic beard, courtesy of 36-year-old Joe Thornton. Long before they came together, new Sharks Coach Peter DeBoer had a feeling he would be on the same page with the long-tenured Thornton,...

  • Kings impressed with Kobe celebration, hope for one of their own

    Kings impressed with Kobe celebration, hope for one of their own

    Small shreds of gold confetti, released from the Staples Center rafters Wednesday night to celebrate Kobe Bryant’s farewell to the Lakers and the NBA, could still be found in odd places Thursday morning when the Kings took over the building to prepare for their playoff opener Thursday night against...

  • Kings vs. Sharks: Key matchups in NHL playoff series

    Kings vs. Sharks: Key matchups in NHL playoff series

    Keys to the first-round playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks: 1. Martin Jones: The former understudy to Kings goalie Jonathan Quick finally gets his turn in the postseason. He knows the Kings and they are as familiar with his skill set. How will Jones handle his...

  • Jeff Carter takes on more of a leadership role as Kings return to the playoffs

    Jeff Carter takes on more of a leadership role as Kings return to the playoffs

    Change has not intimidated Kings center Jeff Carter. He grew up in Canada without dogs, and now Carter is outflanked by them in his household — three to one — and relishing the transformation. "It's all new to me," he said, smiling. And that isn't all. There also is a difference in his leadership...

  • Alec Martinez and Marian Gaborik skate with the Kings, who await the Sharks

    Alec Martinez and Marian Gaborik skate with the Kings, who await the Sharks

    Coincidentally, this was the same conference room where Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi met with reporters about a year ago, sifting through the wreckage of a lost season. The mood on Tuesday, befitting a 102-point season, was considerably lighter. The Kings held their first full practice since...

  • Stanley Cup Playoffs preview: Canada left out in the cold

    Stanley Cup Playoffs preview: Canada left out in the cold

    The pursuit of the Stanley Cup begins without a Canada-based team for the first time since 1970. Canada went 0 for 7 this season, with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks missing the playoffs.The Detroit...

  • Ducks took a cue from the Kings and put defense first

    Ducks took a cue from the Kings and put defense first

    Just when it seemed there was no way out, after the Ducks had flailed through a 1-7-2 start and couldn't find line combinations that clicked, necessity became the mother of their reinvention. On Dec. 18 they were lumped at the bottom of the NHL standings with Toronto and Columbus, at 11-14-5. Faced...

  • Kings first look vs. San Jose in the playoffs

    Kings first look vs. San Jose in the playoffs

    The Sharks are a highly recognizable postseason opponent, and adding fuel to the rivalry is the fact that the Kings produced a comeback for the ages against San Jose in their last playoff meeting, in 2014. The Kings trailed, 3-0, in the first round and became the fourth NHL team to rally from that...

  • Ducks beat Capitals, 2-0, to clinch Pacific Division title for fourth season in a row

    Ducks beat Capitals, 2-0, to clinch Pacific Division title for fourth season in a row

    When the Ducks lost nine of their first 10 games, making the playoffs looked like an uphill climb. Now they're Pacific Division champions for the fourth consecutive season. Behind a 24-save effort from Frederik Andersen, the Ducks beat the Washington Capitals, 2-0, Sunday night in their regular-season...

  • Kings haven't put it on ice after shootout loss to the Jets

    Kings haven't put it on ice after shootout loss to the Jets

    Behind the door, the Kings' first-round playoff opponent . . . to be determined. Still. Considering the Kings played their first game of the season on Oct. 7, what's another day of suspense, right? Trying to secure a division title — the second in franchise history — against the Winnipeg Jets on...

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