SAN JOSE -- The Sharks are hoping for a lift from the notoriously loud HP Pavilion crowd Saturday night for a vital Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Sharks were 17-2-5 at home during the regular season, which includes a 2-0 record against the Kings. San Jose also won both home games in the first round against the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings lead the playoff series with the Sharks 2-0.
"It's going to be crazy," Sharks forward Patrick Marleau said Saturday morning. "The fans here are great, and they are going to bring it tonight."
The Sharks scored first in three of their four first round games against the Canucks, and would love to do the same Saturday night to keep the sellout crowd at a fever pitch. The Kings scored the opening goal in the first two games of this series and the last two games of their opening round win over the St. Louis Blues.
"I don't think we're going to see any different game than we would have if the series was 1-1," Kings captain Dustin Brown said of the Sharks' style. "They have the best home record in the league and it's a really tough building to play in. We'll probably get what we expect in terms of how they play their game here at home."
The Sharks beat the Kings 4-3 at home March 14. It was then just their third regulation time win in the past 21 games.
On April 16, the Sharks beat the Kings 3-2, with Raffi Torres scoring the game-deciding goal in a shootout. At the time, there was anticipation that the two teams would meet in the first round of the playoffs.
Here they are in the second round, with the Sharks facing an almost must-win situation.
"Home's been good to us all year," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said. "It doesn't guarantee a win, of course. But obviously we need to win tonight."