May 21, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) gathers the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of game four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ San Jose Sharks Preview; Western Semi Final, Game 6

Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
West Semi Final, Game 6 @ San Jose; May 26/13, 5pm PST (8pm EST)

On Sunday evening the Los Angeles Kings will square off with the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Semi Final with a chance to close out the series. However, it will be anything but easy as the Kings travel to HP Pavilion where the Sharks have yet to lose this postseason. Even though San Jose won both their home games this series by just a single goal each, they are no less dominant on home ice this round than they were last round or in the regular season where they lost just twice in regulation.

The Kings, however, are coming off a huge Game 5 win where Jonathan Quick posted his third shutout of these playoffs en route to a 3-0 victory over their rivals from Northern California. But after going 10-1 on the road last postseason, the Kings are just 1-4 away from Staples Center this season and if they hope to return to the Western Conference Finalfor a second-straight year, they are going to need a much better result.

May 21, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) battles for position against Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) during the third period of game four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

To say that offense has been hard to come by in this series is a bit of an understatement and not because both offenses have been lacking so much as both goaltenders have been solid. Both Quick and Antti Niemi are in prime playoff form and as for the latter, he will enter Sunday’s contest much too determined to have his team bow out altogether.

Scoring the winner in Game 5 on Thursday, Anze Kopitar tallied just his second goal in his last 27 games dating back to the regular season so the Slovenian is just one of a number of Kings who need to step up their offensive game.

Some good news did come Los Angeles’s way on Saturday as Jarret Stoll, who’s been sidelined with a concussion since Game 1, was back on the ice, albeit in a green non-contact jersey. Stoll was lightly skating and considering his status, his return time has yet to be determined. With that said, it is still a positive sign to see the 30-year-old back on the ice.

In Game 6, the Kings will need to contain most notably Logan Couture who recorded both game-winning goals in San Jose’s home-ice wins in Games 3 and 4. Patrick Marleau is also someone to keep an eye on as the former second-overall pick has a pair of assists at the HP Pavilion this series.

But as far as Kings fans are concerned, the past is the past and they want nothing more than to see their team rid themselves of the Sharks and move on to Round Number Three.

In any case, the Los Angeles Kings hope San Jose’s first blemish on home ice this postseason will also be their final one.

We’ll see what happens when the action starts at 5pm PST (8pm EST).

Enjoy the game!

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Tags: Antti Niemi Anze Kopitar Game 6 Jarret Stoll Jonathan Quick Logan Couture Los Angeles Kings Patrick Marleau San Jose Sharks Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Semi Final

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