NHL Playoffs 2011- Kings vs Sharks Game 6 Preview

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NHL Playoffs 2011- Kings vs Sharks Game 6 Preview
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tonight, the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings battle it out in LA in Game 6. 

The Sharks have a 3-2 series lead over the Kings, as they will try and close it out. The Kings will be fighting to force a Game 7 at San Jose.

So far, the series has looked like this:

Sharks pull through on a hard earned win at home in Game 1, 3-2 in Overtime. The Kings looked like the better team, and tried making it clear when they battled back to beat the Sharks 4-0 on the road.

And in Game 3, the Kings looked like they were pulling away, when they had a 4-0 lead in the second period. The Sharks weren't done, as they rallied back somehow in miraculous fashion and won the game 6-5 in OT.

The Sharks then pulled on to win Game 4 in Los Angeles by a demanding 6-3. Back in San Jose, they tried to close it out, but failed in a 3-1 defeat.

They have another chance in Game 6 tonight back in LA.

The starting goalies tonight are Antti Niemi for the Sharks, and Johnathan Quick for the Kings. Quick has been a bit shaky, but trumped the Sharks in Game 5.

Antti Niemi has been pulled twice in the series so far, and replaced by Antero Niittymaki, who has looked far superior.

However, the Sharks will go with Niemi again tonight, though I personally thought they should've gone with Niittymaki. Niemi so far as a dismal .855 Save. Percentage and a 4.30 Goals Against Average.

As for offense, the Kings haven't had much trouble even with Anze Kopitar, scoring 17 goals so far. The Sharks are nearly even, having scored 16.

If the Sharks want to pull through, they will need guys like Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, and Dany Heatley to step up. Patty has been the only consistent one of the Big 3 in the post season, and the best in the regular season.

The Sharks really need Heatley to step it up, as he scored only 26 goals in the regular season, and has one goal so far this postseason. Heatley only scored twice in last years post season run.

They also need their Captain Jumbo Joe to take it up a notch, as he has four points in the series so far.

For my prediction, if the Sharks' Big 3 play hard, and score a few goals, as well as continuing to get consistent scoring from the second line, guys like Joe Pavelski, Ryane Clowe, Devin Setoguchi and Logan Couture, they should be able to win tonight and close out the series.

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