Last season, the Los Angeles Kings' run to the Stanley Cup Final required a matchup against a Pacific Division foe. This season, the team will once again meet a division rival when they face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Semifinal.
Both teams will enter Tuesday night's Game 1 in the midst of four-game winning streaks. San Jose swept the Vancouver Canucks in the quarterfinal, while the Blues overcame a two-game deficit to the Blues with four consecutive wins.
During the four-game season series, the home team won every game.
Los Angeles recorded two regulation wins, while San Jose collected a shootout and regulation win. Sharks defenseman/forward Brent Burns finished as the leading scorer in the series with eight points (two goals, six assists), while Justin Williams collected six points (two goals, four assists) as the Kings' leading scorer. San Jose won the special teams battle by recording a 37.5-percent success rate on the power play, while Los Angeles finished with a 25-percent success rate.
Who wins the goaltender battle?
This matchup will pit Antti Niemi against Jonathan Quick. Both goalies have played phenomenal in the playoffs and should seemingly continue that performance in Round 2. Niemi enters Game 1 with a .937 save percentage, while Quick carries a .944 save percentage.
Will the Sharks young stars continue to produce?
Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each contributed eight points in Round 1. Couture ended with three goals and five assists, while Pavelski collected four goals and four assists. Both players averaged two points per game. Many have stated the future of the Sharks has taken over the team. Will that continue in Round 2?
What kind of minutes will Drew Doughty play?
Through six games in the quarterfinal, the Kings' top defenseman averaged 28:49 of ice time. Considering how defensive this game could potentially be, will Doughty continue to hit that mark? Or will his minutes be increased?
Game time: 10 p.m., ET
TV info: RDS, TSN, NBCSN