Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 27 vs. San Jose, March 16, 2013, 7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
It’s the back end of the home-and-home series between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharkson Saturday night with two very critical points on the line with both teams entering their matchup dead-even with 30 points and just barely hanging on to a playoff spot. While whoever loses won’t necessarily be in trouble, both clubs will do whatever it takes to come out victorious.
With the Sharks winning the first half of the series in San Jose on Thursday, they will look to get the sweep on Saturday night. But they have a tall task entering Staples Center where the Kings are 9-2-1 this season. Away from the HP Pavilion, the Sharks are 4-7-2 so with those numbers alone, Los Angeles looks to have the advantage. Of course, I’d be remiss not to mention one of the golden rules in sports which is that nothing is won on paper and if the Kings should have any hope of winning this game, they will need to play a whole lot better than they did in their previous two outings.
As of now, it’s unclear who will start in goal for the Kings but given that Jonathan Quick has allowed eight goals in his last two games, it may not be such a bad idea to go with Jonathan Bernier instead who played admirably in relief of Quick in San Jose on Thursday. In their critical five-game swing against division opponents, the Kings are 0-2-0 thus far and a changing of the guard may be something to consider – but we’ll see.
While the Kings did lose on Thursday, it was only the first time since February 10 (that’s over a month ago) when they lost consecutive games. While losing back-to-back contests is never anything to gloat about, that particular stat certainly underlines the positives in Los Angeles’ game. For instance, while they struggled out of the gate on Thursday, the Kings weren’t content to throw in the towel. They fought back and came very close to sending the game into overtime. Captain Dustin Brown came alive with a pair of goals on Thursday so let’s hope he can continue his recent success on Saturday.
On the flip side, the Kings have to contain Logan Couture who scored twice and added an assist en route to San Jose’s win on Thursday. Two things the Kings need to improve on to win is their discipline and their defensive play. The Kings allowed an uncharastically high two power play goals on Thursday and Couture’s second of the night (which proved to be the game-winner) was the result of a careless defensive giveaway by the Kings in their own zone. If Los Angeles can fix these two issues, they will have a much better chance of winning in addition to capitalizing on their scoring chances.
There’s not much else to say except to say drop the puck. Kings fans aren’t used to seeing their team on a losing streak so there’s no time like the present to right the ship and get back in the win column.
Enjoy the game!