When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 5, 2012
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Opening Line is : Los Angeles Kings -135 Click here to Bet at Bovada
PREVIEW: Much is at stake Thursday when the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kingsbegin a season-ending, home-and-home series at the Staples Center. Los Angeles, which has won nine of 12 overall and seven of eight at home, are even in points with Phoenix but sit atop the Pacific Division by virtue of the tiebreaker. The Sharks, who have won five of seven overall but lost four of five on the road, are eighth in the Western Conference, one point behind the Kings and Coyotes.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
San Jose Sharks (41-29-10): San Jose still can claim its fifth consecutive division title. It needs to sweep the Kings and have Phoenix lose one of its final two games in regulation. The Sharks can clinch a playoff spot with one victory or a regulation loss by Dallas. They enter Thursday three points ahead of the ninth-place Stars after sweeping their home-and-home series. “The two games against Dallas were the two biggest games of the year,” coach Todd McLellan said. “It was like a playoff series … very big considering four points went into our count and none into theirs.” Antti Niemi has started 20 consecutive games.
Los Angeles Kings (40-27-13): Los Angeles is seeking the second division title in franchise history. It captured the Smythe Division in 1990-91. Jeff Carter remains day-to-day with a deep bone bruise on his ankle. An MRI showed no fracture or structural damage. “What the results are, it doesn’t really matter. He’s getting better,” coach Darryl Sutter said. Jonathan Quick leads the NHL with 10 of the Kings’ franchise-record 11 shutouts. Quick has posted blankings in three of his last six starts.
1. The home team won each of the first four meetings between the division rivals this season.
2. Los Angeles is 87-0-7 in its last 94 games when ahead after two periods.
3. The Sharks have lost seven of their last 10 divisional games.
PREDICTION: Kings 3, Sharks 1. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$.