May 23, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis (22) is upended by San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart (7) as Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) watches in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Sharks to take a 3-2 series lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Preview; Western Semi Final, Game 7

Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
West Semi Final, Game 7 vs. San Jose; May 28/13, 6pm PST (9pm EST)

After a controversial hit by a repeat offender to open the series to trash talking each other to a costly disallowed goal to add the escalated hostility felt between these state rivals, it all comes down to this: a Game 7, winner-take-all finale.

If you want to factor experience in deciding who will win, then one would go with the San Jose Sharks who last won a Game 7 in 2011 as opposed to the Los Angeles Kings who last won the deciding game back in 1993.

If home-ice advantage is a factor, though, then one would go with the Los Angeles Kings who hosted Game 7 tonight after the home team has started this series with a flawless 6-0 record. To make a long story short, both teams have their reasons to win the series.

After being outscored 6-3 in San Jose this series, the Kings have outscored the Sharks 9-3 in the previous three games at Staples Center with Jonathan Quickrecording a pair of shutouts along the way.

May 23, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Greene (2) check San Jose Sharks left wing T.J. Galiardi (21) into the bench in the third period of game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Staples Center. Kings won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In the one game Quick didn’t post a shutout on home ice (Game 2), the Kings showed their resiliency by scoring two late power play goals to knock off the Sharks 4-3. Which scenario comes out of tonight’s game, Kings’ fans are just hoping for a win.

At Staples Center this series, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty have all been effective but it’s been the play of sophomore defenseman Slava Voynov that has stood out. The young Russian has two goals and an assist in three games at Staples this series and fans hope he can add to that in this, the most important game of Los Angeles’s season.

For myself (and I’m sure many other male fans), tonight’s outcome will be a question of whether the playoff beards stay or go. While that may not be the most important thing riding on tonight’s contest, it surely something to think about.

Like the playoffs over the regular season, Game 7 or any other point in a series is a different beast and tonight we will see what the Kings and Sharks are truly made of.

Enjoy the game!

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Tags: Anze Kopitar Drew Doughty Game 7 Jeff Carter Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings San Jose Sharks Slava Voynov Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Semi Final

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