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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 30th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Kings (3-3) at San Jose Sharks (3-3), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - After trailing three games to none, the Los Angeles Kings will try to make NHL history on Wednesday night when they visit the San Jose Sharks for Game 7 at SAP Center.

The Kings will attempt to become only the fourth team in league annals to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers are the only clubs to have pulled off the monumental comeback.

Even getting to tonight's decisive contest is an achievement worth noting, as Los Angeles is only the ninth team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0 in a series.

Los Angeles does have a few players on its roster that were part of a 3-0 playoff comeback. Kings forwards Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were both members of the 2010 Flyers team that stormed back to beat Boston in the conference semifinals after losing the first three games. Carter, however, missed that historic series with a broken foot before returning later in the playoffs to help Philadelphia make a surprise run to the Cup Finals.

Wednesday's decisive battle also marks the second Game 7 between the Kings and Sharks in as many years. L.A. notched a 2-1 home win over San Jose last spring to win the Western Conference semifinal series. The victory improved the Kings to 4-4 all-time in Game 7s, while San Jose fell to 5-3.

One thing the Sharks have going in their favor tonight is the recent history between the clubs in San Jose. The Kings' win at SAP Center on Saturday was only their second victory in the last 14 road encounters with the Sharks.

San Jose scored 17 times over the first three games of this series to take a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead. However, the Kings have outscored the Sharks by a combined 13-4 margin en route to winning the last three encounters. L.A. claimed Game 4 at home by a 6-3 count, then notched a 3-0 win Saturday in San Jose before claiming a 4-1 decision in Monday's meeting at Staples Center.

Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar each scored twice to help the Kings stay alive on Monday in their final home test of this series. Jonathan Quick also stopped 25 shots to anchor the 4-1 victory.

However, the most recent win by the Kings did come with a bit of controversy.

Monday's Game 6 was tied 1-1 with just over eight minutes left before Williams netted his second of the night, digging the puck free from under the pads of San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock, who made his first start of the series in place of Antti Niemi.

Stalock appeared to have the puck smothered under his pads, but Williams used his stick to push the goaltender backward and dislodge the disc, which squirted across the goal line to give L.A. a 2-1 lead at 11:56.

The Sharks argued the call, citing that Stalock had the puck covered long enough to induce a whistle, but after a brief huddle, the referees deemed the play unreviewable and the goal stood.

"We got cheated. Simple as that," San Jose head coach Todd McLellan said. "I was told that you could see the puck laying behind (Stalock's) feet the whole time. That is why the whistle didn't go. It's pretty clear when you look at it after. That was obviously the turning point."

Kopitar potted a pair of goals 75 seconds apart shortly after and Quick kept the Sharks off the board the rest of the way.

"We have been through a lot together and we want to be a team that came back all the way and we want to be the team that says they forced a Game 7," Williams said. "We were able to win it and gave ourselves a chance."

James Sheppard supplied San Jose's lone goal, while Stalock allowed four goals on 30 shots in the setback. Stalock received the starting nod after Niemi was chased from Games 4 and 5, giving up eight goals on 45 shots in back-to-back losses for the Sharks.

McLellan wouldn't reveal his starter for Game 7, but said he told both netminders to be ready for tonight's contest. Niemi is 1-1 with a 2.03 goals against average in two career Game 7s, while Stalock has never played in this situation.

The Sharks played Monday without defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was sidelined after sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 5. Matt Irwin replaced Vlasic in the lineup and is expected to get the call again in Game 7.

04/30 10:39:36 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
ORL 94
UTA 101
Final
CLE 95
BRK 91
Final
BOS 114
MIN 98
Final
DET 100
TOR 110
Final
MIA 103
WAS 105
Final
MEM 97
CHI 103
2nd OT
SAN 110
POR 104
 
4th
DEN 71
LAC 74
 
1st
LAL 17
OKC 7
 
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
Final
MERC 67
COOK 46
 
Final
FLGC 83
FUR 78
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
Final
MTST 68
CHAT 58
Final
NDAK 78
DICKINSON 48
 
Final
LAMON 76
LSUALEX 71
 
Final
PRIN 77
LIP 55
 
Final
LAM 80
MLGN 53
 
Final
MINN 92
SEAT 57
 
Final
LOYC 73
SUTAH 57
 
Final
SELA 81
WINT 71
 
Final
SILL 52
NO 56
 
Final
MARQ 83
ALAAM 49
 
2nd
TTU 70
ARKPB 49
 
2nd
DEN 77
COLST 84
 
Final
CREI 75
TXPA 60
 
1st
CAL 37
EWASH 24
 
Half
UTST 30
IDST 24
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
NJD 3
TAM 2
Final
OTT 6
ANA 2
Final
DET 1
NYI 2
Final
WIN 2
BOS 1
2nd Intermission
CAL 1
DAL 2