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  • July 18, 2019
    (Sports Network) - The defending Stanley Cup champions will kick off the second round on home ice, as the Los Angeles Kings host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals. Watch all the action unfold live on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 10pm et/ 7pm pt and get interactive with our Game Night Blog in the Game Tracker. With their first-round victory over St. Louis, the Kings became the first team in NHL history to win five straight playoff series despite opening each set on the road. In Round 2, however, the Kings will open a playoff series at home for the first time since 1992. As the Western Conferences eighth seed a season ago, the Kings knocked off the Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes and New Jersey Devils to win their first ever Stanley Cup championship and did so without home-ice advantage in any of the four rounds. Los Angeles also opened up the 2013 postseason on the road with a rematch against the Blues and dropped the first two games of the series in St. Louis before rebounding to win the next four contests. All six games were decided by a single goal and the fifth-seeded Kings finally grabbed a series advantage by winning Game 5, 3-2 in overtime on defenseman Slava Voynovs winner eight minutes into the bonus frame before taking Game 6 by a 2-1 margin at home. It was the Kings 10th straight victory at home dating back to the regular season. "I think were confident now," said Kings center Mike Richards. The Kings will now get ready to open their first playoff series at home since the 1992 division semifinals against the Edmonton Oilers. Los Angeles lost that series in six games and hasnt won a set it opened at home since beating Vancouver in six games during the 1991 division semifinals. L.A. is 4-5 all-time in the playoffs in sets that begin at home. After averaging 2.73 goals per game during the regular season, the Kings averaged just two per contest versus the Blues, but turned up the defense by yielding just 1.67 goals per game. A lot of the credit should go to netminder and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick, who allowed more than two goals in a game just once during the series with the Blues. Even more important, Quick did not get rattled after losing the first two games of the set following an inconsistent regular season. He ended Round 1 with a 1.58 goals against average, .944 save percentage and one shutout. The sixth-seeded Sharks turned in a solid four-game sweep of the Northwest Division-champion Vancouver Canucks in the opening round. However, San Jose hopes its poor play on the road this season doesnt prevent it from getting past the Kings in the second round The Sharks went just 8-14-2 on the road this season, negating an outstanding 17-2-5 mark at home. So, there had to have been a sense of relief when the Sharks won their first two games in Vancouver before opening up the home portion of its playoff schedule with a 5-2 victory in Game 3. San Jose then showed its resilience, again rallying from behind to win the series-clincher 4-3 in overtime. "In the past you kind of felt the pressure. This year we didnt feel that way and maybe that carried through into third periods," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan about his teams mindset in this postseason. "Were a loose group, playing free. (Theres) not a lot of expectations that are put on us from the outside that have been on us in the past." The Sharks used an excellent power play to get by the Canucks, scoring seven of their 15 goals on the man advantage. All three of Logan Coutures first- round goals came on the power play, while Joe Pavelski also scored a trio of goals on the man advantage. That helped the duo pace the Sharks with eight points each, taking some pressure off of expected scorers Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Not that the two didnt do their jobs, with Thornton notching four power-play assists as part of his six first-round points. Marleau added four goals and an assist versus Vancouver. In addition to killing off two of 10 short-handed situations, the defensive story was goaltender Antti Niemi, who helped the Chicago Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in 2010 but had been less than impressive during his two playoff runs with the Sharks. That all changed in the first round, with the 2013 Vezina Trophy finalist winning a pair of overtime games while posting a 1.86 goals against average and .937 save percentage. In front of Niemi, McLellan continued to spread his minutes out between his six defenders. Dan Boyle (23 minutes) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (22 minutes, 40 seconds) were the team leaders, while Justin Braun, Brad Stuart, Matt Irwin and Scott Hannan all averaged at least 17 minutes of ice time per game. That also allowed former blueliner Brent Burns to remain up front at forward, where he notched a goal and two assists. Boyle, Burns and Hannan combined for two goals and seven points, while forward Raffi Torres provided some energy with 14 hits to along with solid speed. Depth could be an issue for the Sharks in Round 2. Forward Martin Havlat did not play after Game 1 due to injury and he is not expected to return until at least Game 3 of this series. Veteran Scott Gomez filled in for Havlat in the last round. Fellow forward Adam Burish, a key penalty-killer for the Sharks, is also expected to miss the entire second round with an upper-body injury suffered in Game 4 against Vancouver. This will mark just the second postseason meeting between these two Pacific Division rivals. The Sharks got the best of the Kings in six games during the 2011 conference quarterfinals. Thornton, Marleau and Couture all had two goals and three assists in the set, while Pavelski had three goals. The Kings and Sharks split four regular-season meetings this year, with each team winning twice at home. The Sharks and Kings faced off in their respective regular-season finales, with L.A. notching a 3-2 win. Los Angeles has won six of its last seven at home versus the Sharks, but has dropped six in a row in San Jose. Game 2 of this series is scheduled for Thursday in L.A. John Cominsky Falcons Jersey . In what the team had called a retirement, Ryan said Thursday that he is resigning as chief executive of the Rangers in a move effective at the end of this month. Qadree Ollison Womens Jersey . The 43-year-old closer, in his 19th and final big league season, has said hed like to play the outfield. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says hes thinking about allowing Rivera to do it this weekend, when the Yankees finish their season with a three-game series at the Houston Astros. . Thousands of Southern California fans enveloped the Trojans to celebrate an improbable win secured by an interim coach, an inconsistent kicker and a thin defence that wouldnt break. John Cominsky Womens Jersey . Miikka Kiprusoff had just announced his retirement after a decade-long run in Calgary and it would be up to Berra and Ramo to fill the void. Kaleb McGary Womens Jersey . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. TAMPA, Fla. -- The Columbus Blue Jackets started and finished fast against the Tampa Bay Lightning.Brandon Saad broke a tie with at 4:34 of the third period and Cam Atkinson added a short-handed goal to lift the Blue Jackets to 5-3 victory over a team that had beaten them in six of their preceding seven meetings.I liked all parts of our game other than the final 3-4 minutes of the second period, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. I thought we played a complete game.Early goals by Alexander Wennberg and Nick Foligno put the Blue Jackets (11-5-3) ahead for the entire game except for a 57-second stretch of the final period. The loss was only the second for the Lightning (13-8-1) in their last seven games.We play 82 games, chalk one up to a stinker, said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. We got taught a lesson tonight by a team that worked way harder than us. I know it was 3-3, but the right team won the hockey game.Wennbergs fourth goal of the season was assisted by Saad and Jack Johnson. Foligno made it 2-0 with his team-leading eighth goal on a power play just 8:35 into the game.Columbus dominated the first period, taking 10 shots to the Lightnings four and nearly taking a 3-0 lead when a shot by Johnson went off Ben Bishops shoulder and deflected off the post in the 14th minute.We played really good in the first period, and I think they wanted to come back so they got some momentum, Wennberg said. But I felt like we didnt give them too many chances.ddddddddddddThe Lightning didnt get a power-play opportunity until the middle of the third period and were outshot, 38-28.Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning, his 11th goal of the season, with 12:33 left in the second period, but Josh Anderson answered quickly to regain a 3-1 Columbus lead.After Josh Garrison made it 3-2 with 1:32 left in the seco