Get your game notes: Ducks at Kings


Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Los Angeles Kings hosting the Anaheim Ducks starting at 10 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• The Kings were down 0-3 in their 1st Round series vs. the Sharks and have now won 6 straight games, outscoring their opponents 24-8 in those games. With a win tonight, the Kings will become the first team in NHL history to win 7 straight games after trailing in a series 0-3 (Elias Sports Bureau).

• L.A. boasts the leading point-getter (Anze Kopitar – 14) & joint-leading goal-scorer (Marian Gaborik – 6, tied with Jussi Jokinen – PIT) so far this postseason. Kopitar is averaging 1.56 points/game this postseason – compared to .85 ppg during the regular season (led team) – while Gaborik is averaging
.67 goals/game – compared to his .27 goals/game during the regular season (CBJ/LA).

• After the Ducks averaged 3.33 goals/game in the 1st Round and scored 5+ goals (11 total) in Gms 5 & 6 of the 1st Round vs. DAL, the league’s highest scoring team during the regular season (3.21 goals/gm), has scored 3 goals in the first 2 games of this series.

• Kopitar – 1 assist in Game 2 – has 4 goals-10 assists during a 9-game point streak in these playoffs. Only one other player over the past 15 years has registered at least one point in each of his team’s first 9 games of the postseason: DET’s Johan Franzen, who found the score sheet in all 12 of the Red Wings’ games during the 2009-10 Stanley Cup Playoffs (6G-12A). (Elias Sports Bureau)

• Dating back to the regular season, Kopitar has 8goals-11assists during a 12-game point streak. Kopitar also has 5goals-11assists during a 10-game postseason point streak dating back to last season’s Game-5 loss to CHI in the Conference Finals.

• Marian Gaborik has 3 goals in this series; he scored the game-tying and OT-winning goal in Game 1 & also netted the 1st goal of Game 2, 34 seconds into the 1st period.

• Ryan Getzlaf has 3 assists in this series after registering 3goals-3assists in 5 games in the First Round. Corey Perry has 0 points in the series after tallying 2goals-5assists in the First Round.

• The Kings recorded their 100th playoff victory in franchise history (100-129) with their Game 2 win. Anaheim holds a record of 62-50 all-time in postseason play.

• Jonathan Quick made 36 saves, including 15 in the 3rd period, in Game 2. After yielding 16 goals in his first 3 games this postseason, Quick has given up only 8 goals during the team’s 6-game winning streak.

WATCH LIVE: Stanley Cup Final Game 1 – Sharks at Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30:  Pittsburgh Penguins fans sit outside of Consol Energy Center prior to Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The wait is finally over. The 2016 Stanley Cup Final is about to begin.

Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks received some time to lick their wounds after three grueling playoff rounds, so expect Game 1 to be fun, even if there might be a subtle bit of rust here or there.

The star power is considerable. The beards are burly (at least on the Sharks’ side). It’s time to get cracking.

Game 1 airs on NBC. You can also stream it via the link below and enjoy some “NHL Live” coverage leading in.


Vlasic on the unenviable task of matching up against Crosby

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 21:  Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 and Sidney Crosby #87 of Canada look on during the Men's Ice Hockey Semifinal Playoff against the United States on Day 14 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 21, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
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Plenty of people believe that the San Jose Sharks’ defense is superior to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ personnel, but it’s one thing to be better on paper. When you’re on the ice, against a speedy and talented team, can you really stop the Penguins?

All signs point to sorely underrated Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic drawing the difficult assignment of trying to slow down Sidney Crosby.

Vlasic, a former Team Canada teammate of Crosby (as you can see from this post’s main image), realizes that he’ll have his hands full. In fact, he seems to believe that this will be an even tougher challenge than trying to solve St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko.

The fantastic all-around defender isn’t exactly expecting to reinvent the wheel in his strategy against Crosby.

“It will be the same as in the first three series,” Vlasic said, via The Hockey News. “We’re playing against the top players on every time – Sid, (Evgeni) Malkin and those types of guys for Pittsburgh. Me and (Justin Braun) will just keep doing what we did, taking away time and space and hopefully it works out.”

The two players have had glowing things to say about each other for some time, but don’t be surprised if this high-level competition turns those happy thoughts into hard feelings.

It stands as one of the matchups to watch in what could be a fresh and fascinating Stanley Cup Final.

Red Wings look to future in net … a future possibly without Howard

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save against the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Garden on April 7, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

This summer looks like it could be one of changes for the Detroit Red Wings, even beyond the most obvious storyline of Pavel Datsyuk‘s future.

One area where the Red Wings would like to make some tweaks is in net, namely in trading Jimmy Howard. The Detroit Free-Press points out that GM Ken Holland admitted that moving the former franchise netminder “might be good for the organization.”

It’s reasonable to wonder what kind of market there will be for Howard, whose deal ($5.29 million cap hit through 2018-19) looks pretty tough to stomach on paper.

Maybe it’s best to consider the Red Wings’ options if Howard starts the 2016-17 season off on a strong note, or something of that nature. Perhaps an expansion draft could “solve” that problem if Detroit cannot find any takers?

The Red Wings remain forward-thinking and patient, which likely explains why the Free-Press focuses on their confidence with prospect Jared Coreau.

“In the big scheme of things, he’ll play in Grand Rapids for another year, but now we know he can play a lot of minutes if needed,” Goalie coach Jeff Salajko said. “Jimmy Howard played four years in the minors. We’re not rushing Jared, but he is going to be an NHL goalie, there is no doubt in my mind about that.”

In other words, a pairing of Petr Mrazek and Coreau wouldn’t just be a cost-effective duo … it might just be the Red Wings’ ideal scenario in the not-too-distant future.

Stanley Cup Final referees: McCauley, O’Halloran, O’Rourke, Sutherland

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 13:  Referee Dan O'Halloran #13 holds up a face-off between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators during their NHL game at First Niagara Center on December 13, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Dave Sandford Getty Images)
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From the NHL:


Pretty veteran crew, including three returnees from last year’s final.

Per the NHL, O’Halloran and O’Rourke will call tonight’s series opener from Consol.