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.”

The Leafs will be without Reimer on Saturday

James Reimer
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James Reimer (lower body) won’t be available to play in Saturday’s game against Washington.

Reimer was injured during a team practice earlier this week and although the injury didn’t appear to be serious, it will prevent him from suiting up in at least one game.

The Leafs originally thought that the 27-year-old would be good to go for this tilt, but head coach Mike Babcock said Reimer didn’t feel good enough to play.

Reimer’s emerged as the go-to-guy for the Maple Leafs this season and for good reason.

He has 7-3-4 record with a 2.07 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage in 15 games.

Another reason the Leafs have been counting on him so much is because Jonathan Bernier‘s been awful.

Bernier will get another opportunity to prove himself on Saturday night, but he faces a stiff test against Alex Ovechkin and company.

The 27-year-old has an 0-7-1 record with a 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage in ’15-16.

In a corresponding move, the Leafs sent defenseman Scott Harrington to the minors and recalled goalie Garret Sparks.

Sparks was Toronto’s seventh round pick in 2011.

The 22-year-old has an 8-2-1 record with the Toronto Marlies this season.

War of words continues between Rangers and Bruins on Saturday


The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.

After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.

On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.

“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Dubinsky to have hearing for cross-check on Crosby


Brandon Dubinsky and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will have a chat about his cross-check on Sidney Crosby.

The hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, per beat reporter Aaron Portzline.

As you can see in the above video, Dubinsky delivers a two-handed cross-check to Crosby’s neck, so the fact that he’s getting a hearing is no surprise.

“There’s no secret. I try to play him as hard as I can,” said Dubinsky. “That being said, I don’t try and do anything dirty. I felt like my stick ride up his back a little bit. He’s kind of bent over there in front. But again, that’s not the type of player I am. I’m going to play hard, but try and play fair and play in between the whistle.”

Crosby isn’t willing to give Dubinsky the benefit of the doubt.

Anyone who follows the NHL knows that Dubinsky and Crosby aren’t fans of each other.

The two have engaged in some serious battles, including this fight last February:

Report: Habs will be Price-less for the next month

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It looks like the Canadiens will be without star goaltender Carey Price for the next month, per RDS.

“We still don’t know what the nature of the injury is, but we’re convinced it’s his right knee,” hockey analyst François Gagnon said on a french television show on Friday. “The Canadiens are preparing for him to be out for more than a week. They’re preparing for him to be out for a month.”

Price missed nine games with a lower-body injury between Oct. 30 and Nov. 19.

The 28-year-old won all three of his starts since returning, but he was forced from Wednesday’s game against the Rangers leading some to believe he came back too soon.

After Friday’s win over the Devils, Michel Therrien denied the validity of the report.

The Canadiens will have to provide an update on Price’s injury at some point, but their camp doesn’t typically give many details when it comes to this sort of thing.