San Jose Sharks (51-22-9) at Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Monday April 28, 2014, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Kings -115 / San Jose Sharks -105 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Sharks look to avoid a major collapse as they take to the road to face the Kings with a third crack at wrapping up the series.
The San Jose Sharks took everyone by surprise as they ripped off three straight victories in convincing fashion against their rivals from LA in what looked like it was going to be a very short series but through five games their lead has been trimmed to 3-2 and could face a deciding game seven back home. The Sharks have a very talented roster and have been a league force for the better part of a decade but they also have an accompanying label as being playoff chokers which at the moment is too soon to throw out for this season but it looks like they are heading in that direction. San Jose players were clearly frustrated after a game five loss as Sharks blue liner Dan Boyle got into a war of words with the media and while Boyle was in the right in the sense that the questions thrown his way were less than quality it was clear his demeanour was that of frustration from his team’s effort. Add in the fact that Alex Stalock may get the call for the Sharks in game six in favour of Antii Niemi and it is safe to say the Sharks are in panic mode.
The LA Kings are a very strong team as well and it was uncharacteristic of them to be down 3-0 in a playoff series especially with the first two games being played on the road. LA established themselves as road warriors during their Cup run two years ago and while they stole a huge win on the road on Saturday to keep their season alive it is hard to believe they put themselves in this position at all. Despite their early hole however this team is flooded with confidence at the moment as they have kept the Sharks’ once powerful offense in check over the last two games including a shutout in game five and now they have the opportunity to push this to a deciding game seven back in San Jose with their third straight win of the series on Monday. It is tough to imagine one of these teams being eliminated after the first round but that is the nature of the Western Conference and while it looked like it would be the Sharks coasting through things are starting to get interesting and I think we see another game here. I like the Kings at home and I still think they can win the series.