National Hockey League
Kings-Sharks Preview
National Hockey League

Kings-Sharks Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 1:52 p.m. ET

Already down 2-0 in the series, the Los Angeles Kings fell behind 30 seconds into Game 3. It wasn't the start they wanted, but they've climbed out of deeper holes.

The Kings recovered to win the game and will now look to even the series Wednesday night with a fourth straight playoff win in San Jose, while the Sharks try to avoid the memory of their 2014 collapse in the same first-round matchup.

After Los Angeles' 2-1 overtime win Monday, the road team has won each game by a goal, and the Kings are trying to wrestle back home advantage - though it just doesn't seem to mean all that much.

The Sharks are 4-0-0 in Los Angeles this season and the Kings 3-1-0 in San Jose. They've won the last three playoff games there as part of a 6-2-0 span, which dates to that 2014 series in which Los Angeles rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the Sharks on its way to a second Stanley Cup title.


Tanner Pearson scored the winner and is on a season-best five-game point streak - one shy of his career-best run from May 2014, which came entirely in the postseason.

"It's not the start that we wanted, obviously, but we trust each other in here that we were going to bounce back," Pearson told the league's official website. "It's a confident group when our backs are against the wall. We're still there and we've got to fight back to even up the series."

Anze Kopitar tied it midway through the first period to give the Kings a power-play goal in five straight games against the Sharks after ending the regular season by going 3 for 38 in their last 16 overall.

Regardless of how the goals came, Drew Doughty said the result likely instilled a level of uneasiness for San Jose.

"You know they're thinking a little bit about it now, so we're right where we want to be," said Doughty, who played 35:01 of the game's 63:47.

San Jose isn't so sure there's been any real momentum shift.

"It's the first team to four," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I couldn't care less where we win the game. We played well enough to win the game tonight. We outshot them, outchanced them. We didn't win."

Shots, however, have meant little. In the last seven meetings, the team with fewer shots has won six times and the other ended with both teams recording 32.

Overall, San Jose has now dropped six of its last eight at home as part of a season long since defined by road success and home struggles. The Sharks have won 18 of 42 home games, while every other playoff team has won at least 22.

"The effort was there, the crowd was great," said Joe Pavelski, who leads the series with four points. "We felt like we did a lot of good things again. They were definitely a better team than the first couple of games. It's nothing we can't play with and we don't feel like we can't get our game going.

"It's still a big challenge out there, and we're excited."

After Joe Thornton's early goal, Jonathan Quick settled in for a 29-save night and has gotten better in each playoff game after Los Angeles missed the postseason last year. He's been in goal for the three straight playoff wins in San Jose while posting a 0.65 goals-against average and .980 save percentage.

Counterpart Martin Jones has faced his former team eight times this season, going 5-2-1 with a 2.34 GAA. He's 2-1-0 with a 1.50 GAA in five career playoff games.


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