San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Tip-off: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – 9:00 PM ET
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California
Even when Dustin Brown will never forget raising the Stanley Cup above his head in 2012, he will also never forget what it felt like in the first-round playoff defeat versus the San Jose Sharks one year before the Los Angeles Kings became champions.
So even when the Kings captain is playing in his first Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight, he’s acutely aware of the stakes when the Kings host the Sharks in the grand finale to a grueling all-California series.
For the first time since 2011, Los Angeles is one game away from playoff elimination.
The Kings never even faced a potential elimination game during their 16-4 rampage to the Cup last year, but San Jose have pushed them to the brink while moving one victory away from their third trip to the Western Conference finals in four years.
The home team has never been able to win every game in the series, even when home ice meant little to Los Angeles last season while winning the title as an eighth seed.
The Kings are hoping the Staples Center ice means everything in Game 7 — and it has been pretty friendly lately, with 13 consecutive home wins over the past two months and seven straight home playoff wins dating to 2012’s Cup clincher.
Even when Los Angeles and San Jose is separated by just a 45-minute flight, YouWager experts like to point out the home team has dominated this series lately, winning all four regular-season meetings as well.
As a matter of fact, the home team has won 15 of the clubs’ past 16 meetings in the past two NHL seasons.
After three victories each, the series has ended up just as both teams expected before it began two weeks ago. Neither team is able to away, with goaltending and special teams largely deciding each matchup.