Matchup: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks

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Season series

Kings, 2-1-1.

Difference-makers

Drew Doughty isn't the King's biggest-point producer -- that's left to the likes of forwards Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter -- but he is their top offensive weapon on the blue line and routinely gets deployed against opponents' most formidable talents. Antti Niemi of San Jose is one of the best big-game goalies in today's NHL, based on his work in the playoffs; his 29-19 record includes an 11-2 overtime mark. His first-round numbers: .937 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average.

Special teams

Power plays were rare during the Kings-Blues series, and Los Angles came away with just two man-advantage goals, but that was countered by a penalty-killing unit that went 15 for 17. San Jose, conversely, got seven of its 15 goals in Round 1 from the power play, but its penalty-killing was fairly ordinary, giving up two goals in 10 short-handed situations.

Noteworthy

Los Angeles will have home-ice advantage for the first time in 16 series, a streak dating to 1992. ... San Jose was the only team to sweep a series in Round 1, beating Vancouver four games in a row. ... The only two-goal lead in the Kings' first-round series against St. Louis lasted 301 seconds and belonged to the Blues in the first period of Game 4. ... Sharks C Joe Pavelski, with four goals, was only player on either team to score more than three in opening round. ... Six of past 10 games between Sharks and Kings have been settled by one goal, including four that went to overtime.

Who will win

Kings in seven.

penguins


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