(5) Kings vs. (6) Sharks
Kings Leading Postseason Scorer: Mike Richards, 5 points (0 goals, 5 assists).
Sharks Leading Postseason Scorer: Joe Pavelski, 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists).
Kings Expected Starting Goaltender: Jonathan Quick, (4-2, 1.58 GAA, .944 SV%).
Sharks Expected Starting Goaltender: Antti Niemi (4-0, 1.86 GAA, .937 SV%).
Kings Injuries: Defenseman Robyn Regehr (nose) is probable. Left winger Kyle Clifford (undiscloed) is questionable. Defenseman Matt Greene (back) is doubtful. Defenseman Willie Mitchell (knee) is on injured reserve.
Sharks Injuries: Defenseman Jason Demers (left ankle) and center Tommy Wingels ("upper body") are probable. Right wingers Adam Burish and Martin Havlat ("lower body) are out.
Kings with Stanley Cup bling: Jonathan Bernier, G; Dustin Brown, RW; Jeff Carter, C; Kyle Clifford, LWDrew Doughty, D; Colin Fraser, C; Matt Greene, D; Dwight King, LW; Anze Kopitar, C; Trevor Lewis, C; Alec Martinez, D; Willie Mitchell, D; Jake Muzzin, D; Jordan Nolan, C; Dustin Penner, LW; Jonathan Quick, G; Mike Richards, C; Brad Richardson, RW; Rob Scuderi, D; Jarret Stoll, C; Tyler Toffoli, C; Slava Voynov, D; Justin Williams, RW.
Sharks with Stanley Cup bling: Adam Burish, RW; Dan Boyle, D; Scott Gomez, C; Antti Niemi, G; Brad Stuart, D.
Something worthwhile about the Kings: The Kings have the lowest goals scored per game of any team still alive in the postseason at 2.0.
Something worthwhile about the Sharks: At 29.2 percent, the Sharks have the best postseason power-play rate of any team still alive in the Western Conference.
Something useless about the Kings that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins left winger Chris Kontos holds the Kings' record for most power-play goals in a postseason. He scored six in 1989.
Something useless about the Sharks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Current Penguins right winger Jarome Iginla holds the record for most penalty minutes in a period in a posteason game against the Sharks. While a member of the Flames, Iginla recorded 22 penalty minutes in a 3-0 Sharks win in the third period of Game 3 of the 2004 Western Conference final.
Former Penguins on the Kings: Luc Robitalle, vice president - business operations; Rob Scuderi, D.
Former Penguins on the Sharks: Jim Johnson, assistant coach.
Who needs to be the difference for the Kings: Rob Scuderi, Robyn Regehr, Drew Doughty, etc. The Kings' blue line needs to find a way to cool off a potent offensive attack from the Sharks. San Jose has a deep collection of skilled forwards. The Kings can't expect star goaltender Jonathan Quick to bail them out all the time.
Who needs to be the difference for the Sharks: Antti Niemi. Once again, Niemi will be the story for the Sharks. San Jose swept the Canucks in part due to Vancouver's inconsistent goaltending. That won't be the story this time with Quick, a former Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Niemi can't allow any soft goals because Quick won't allow too many.
Best Kings YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Kings defenseman Jaroslav Modry's overtime goal in Game 1 of a 4-3 win against the Avalanche of a 2001 Western Conference semfinal series:
Best Sharks YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov robbing former Stars center Brad Richards of a goal in overtime of Game 6 in a 2008 Western Conference final
EN Prediction: The Kings enter this series a bit worn out from a physical series against the Blues. The Sharks had a fairy easy time against the Canucks and are relatively healthy. Health and superior depth up front will push the Sharks to the Western Conference final. Sharks 4-2.
(Photos: Richards-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Boyle-Marianne Helm/Getty Images)