San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Will Kings make history tonight vs. Sharks?


Though they’re only halfway to their goal of advancing past the opening round, the Kings could accomplish a rare feat tonight at Staples.

After falling behind 0-3 to the Sharks, the Kings won two straight and now have a chance to become just the ninth team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after going behind three games to none.

Exciting stuff, sure…just don’t expect L.A. head coach Darryl Sutter to get amped over the possibility of going down in hockey lore.

“Stay realistic,” is how Sutter explained his mindset going into Game 6, per LA Kings Insider. “Don’t get too caught up in when somebody says you’re awful or if somebody says you’re great.

“We know what we are, and we just try and stay the course and try and get everybody to be accountable and be responsible with each other.”

It’s going to be tough for the Kings not to get caught up in this, though. As mentioned, they’re getting the Sharks at home, where the Kings have dominated recently — prior to San Jose’s 4-3 OT win in Game 3, the Sharks had lost eight straight in Staples (regular season and playoffs combined.)

There’s also the not-so-small fact that, as Brough pointed out on Friday, the 0-3 deficit doesn’t seem as overwhelming as it used to be.

Of the previous eight teams to force Game 7, three of ’em — Philly in ’10, Detroit in ’11, Chicago in ’11 — occurred within the last four postseasons. That’s telling, because the last time it happened prior to the Flyers was when the Isles did it in 1975…meaning the league went 35 years without an 0-3 team forcing Game 7, then had three in two years.

The Kings also have the “advantage” of employing Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, two of the catalysts of Philly’s comeback over Boston four years ago. I say “advantage” because both have said on numerous occasions this current situation in L.A. is much different from the one in Philadelphia, but the fact remains they’re the only two that have actually experienced such a comeback and, in the case of Richards, led the charge — he scored five points over the final four games to help pull the stunner.

“Our mindset was if you are going to go down, you are going to go down swinging,” Richards said after dispatching of Boston. “We took it one goal at a time.”

That’s the mindset the Kings have adopted after falling behind 0-3 to the Sharks, though there also appeared to be some of Sutter’s never-say-die attitude sprinkled in, too.

“It’s a tough hill,” Sutter said after losing Game 3, per the Kings website. “We won’t go away quietly. That’s for sure.”

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: