It all comes down to this. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Kings and Sharks will play each other in a home-and-home series, as the Pacific Division title is yet to be decided. In the four previous match-ups this year, each team has won the two games played on their home ice.
Unfortunately, Jeff Carter won’t be available tonight to celebrate any possible Kings goals, like he’s doing in the above photo. Nor did big number-77 get a chance to participate when I asked several of his teammates who will score the first goal tonight. You may recall, he correctly predicted Mike Richards in the last game vs. San Jose – and he was sure to chirp me about it the next day. For now, he continues to nurse a sore ankle and isn’t likely to return unless the Kings make the playoffs.
Continuing to take Carter’s spot in the line-up will be Brad Richardson, who shared some of his memories playing the Sharks and then looked ahead to tonight’s game…
“Last year in the playoffs, I was able to play center - which I hadn’t played in a while. So, that was fun to get back to my natural position. Me and Simmer and Cliffy – we had a good playoff series and we were contributing. That was probably my best memory versus the Sharks. It sucked to lose that series, but it was fun to be in an offensive role. As far as the next couple of games though, it looks like the league’s schedule worked out kind of nice. They’re a good team and they’ve had a season like us, filled with lots of ups and downs. Everybody in here, we’re really looking forward to getting a big win (tonight). I’m sure they’re doing the same, so it’s going to be a battle.”
Defenseman Willie Mitchell also passed along these thoughts…
“I think they have two really good lines up front and they’re very good down low. They’re a much bigger team and stronger team than what we’ve played in the last few games. Edmonton is more of a smaller, skilled, fast team. These guys (the Sharks) really like to play from the back of the net area and cycle the puck. Personally speaking, that will be a lot of the focus for me and the other defensemen.”
MayorsManor will once again bring you a First Goal Contest as part of the game. However, since there aren’t any more regular season games to give tickets away to, we have a different prize. You’re playing for a MayorsManor t-shirt. Entering is easy, simply leave a comment below with the LA player you think will score first vs. the Sharks. All correct answers will be pooled together and one random winner will be awarded the shirt.
To help you with your selection, the following stats and info may come in handy…
- Dustin Brown has 11 goals in 47 career games vs San Jose
- Anze Kopitar has 12 goals in 37 career games
His prediction: Justin Williams
- Williams has 1 goal in 18 career games
- Richards has 4 goals in 11 career games
- Jarret Stoll has 4 goals in 35 career games
His prediction: Richardson
- Richardson has 0 goals in 23 career games
His prediction: “me”
- Drew Doughty has 1 goal in 22 career games
His prediction: Ron Scuderi
Other predictions – Davis Drewiske said “Dustin Penner, I think he’s due for another one”…Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford took their centerman, Colin Fraser…Dwight King and Penner took Brown.
Finally, Mitchell added his own spin on things – “I’ll take anyone, just as long as we get the first one. That first one’s important. So, I’d take anyone. I’ll take myself though, why not? You gotta to think you’re going to score, right?”
When selecting, please note that Kevin Westgarth and Drewiske are scheduled to be healthy scratches again.