The San Jose Sharks prepare to head into tonight's pivotal Game 4 with a golden chance to put a choke-hold on the series. Having just completed one of the biggest NHL playoff comebacks in 27 years, emotions could run high and they must ward against any possible letdown.
The bad blood and rivalry between these two California teams is as fresh and heated as ever, and San Jose can expect the Kings to come out swinging. It’s been an extremely entertaining series thus far, marked with wild swings of momentum and filled with remarkable plays.
Despite their defensive pedigree, the Los Angeles Kings had no answer for the Sharks from the second period onward in Game 3, being out-shot by a 27-12 margin. After enjoying a superb start to the series with a .962 save percentage, Jonathan Quick faltered, giving up five goals on 30 shots and put up a ugly .833 save percentage.
The Sharks also enter the contest with a few question marks of their own, after Niemi allowed four goals on 10 shots and was pulled from the game. The special teams concerns still linger, as San Jose hasn’t really mounted much of a sustained attack with their second-ranked power play.
Here then are five keys for San Jose to carry a 3-1 series lead back to the Tank, in what figures to be yet another memorable game to this terrific series.