May 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) reacts as he watches the officials break up a scrum between his teammates and members of the Los Angeles Kings in the third period of game two of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Preview; Western Semi Final, Game 5

Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
West Semi Final, Game 5 vs. San Jose; May 23/13, 7pm PST (10pm EST)

After eight meetings this season, the trend continues: the home team wins. With both teams undefeated on home ice against each other this year, the Los Angeles Kings hope that continues on Thursday night for Game 5 as they return home in hopes of ending their losing skid and regain a lead in their West Semi Final series against the San Jose Sharks.

After Game 1, each of the next three of games of this series has been decided by just a single goal. Unfortunately for the Kings, they were on the losing end of the two most recent in San Jose.

For the two games in San Jose, the Kings could be considered victims of bad officiating and while that is justified, the defending champs themselves would be quick to admit that they need a full 60-minute effort above all else if they have any hope of turning the momentum of the series back in the series.

May 14, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Justin Braun (61) battle for the puck during game two of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Sharks 4-3 to take a 2-0 series lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

They may have had a strong third period in Game 4 as the Kings outshot San Jose 14-2 in the final frame scoring once. Unfortunately for the Kings, they were down by a pair heading into the third and were outshot 15-3 in the opening frame. Thankfully, the Kings only surrendered one goal in very large part to the usually outstanding play of Jonathan Quick.

Like in Game 3, the Sharks weren’t able to muster much offense on home ice but they had enough to win as the Los Angeles offense just couldn’t come together at the right time – and that’s why everyone in LA is hoping some home cooking will do the Kings a lot of good in Game 5.

Whether you’re surprised or not, this series has turned out to be a low-scoring affair and while it may not seem the most exhilarating on the surface, the superb goaltending mixed in with the drama of having shoddy officiating (and oh yeah, Raffi Torres’s suspension) has made this Battle of California one to remember.

The Kings just hope they can come out on this series on the winning end. But first, they will need to use the Staples Center faithful to their advantage and make Game 5 theirs.

We’ll see if they can do just that on Thursday.

Enjoy the game!

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Tags: Game 5 Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings San Jose Sharks Stanley Cup Playoffs Staples Center Western Semi Final

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