“Game of the Night” is a feature that takes a daily look at the best game on the NHL schedule, and sets it up for you. So y’know, you should probably watch the game below. This is brought to you by the Werner Ladder Company (check out their hockey vid here), because how else do you think the bulbs in the red goal light get changed?
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings: 14-9-2 (last 10: 7-3-0) – 4th in West, 30 pts
San Jose Sharks: 11-8-6 (last 10: 3-4-3) – T8th in West, 28 pts
Tight conference, whoa.
Pittsburgh/Toronto is the only other game I was considering, but thought I’d remind hockey fans that the Western Conference is a thing.
Of the four games against each other this season, they…haven’t played one yet.
Puck drop: 10:30 p.m. EST
Need to know:
* The Sharks have been struggling – Over the course of February and March, they have two wins in regulation.
* Despite the optics – Kings rolling, Sharks flailing – things are actually pretty close. They’re only separated by two points, they’re division rivals, and they have four head-to-head games coming up.
* Kings have five divisional games in their next eight days, which means it’s a good time to be hot. They have 11 wins in their last 15 contests.
* After this game, the Sharks start a five game road trip, so they could reeeeally use this one.
Injuries (via NHL.com):
Kings defensemen Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back) are out. … Sharks forward Martin Havlat (lower body) and goalie Thomas Greiss (sore neck) are out.
Looks like Jonathan Quick via Antti Niemi, though neither is confirmed.
What I’m looking forward to:
Star power, dawg. Both teams have it. Jeff Carter has been putting the puck in the net at a crazy rate, but were you aware he’s grabbing so few assists he looks like a Cy Young candidate? He’s currently 17-2 (for 19 points).
Also, I’m really excited to see Scott Gomez play. I haven’t seen much of the Sharks this year, so I’m interested to see if he can hang.
The Kings are coming off a loss, but haven’t lost two in a row since early February, so they seem to be good at bouncing back. Kings in a close one.
Game of the Night prediction record:
Ducks beat the Wild 2-1 last night by weathering the storm early (including having a puck roll on its edge across the goal-line), then scoring late in the third to go up one.