Actress Chloe Grace Moretz had a decent seat for Game 2 of the Kings-Sharks series at Staples Center last Saturday. When she was paying attention. Next two are in San Jose. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS:
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
KINGS vs. SAN JOSE
Details/TV: Game 3 at San Jose, Monday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
DUCKS vs. NASHVILLE
Details/TV: Game 3 at Nashville, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
Before the Stanley Cup playoffs started, an analysis in USA Today of all 16 participating teams had the Ducks ranked No. 2 (they will win “because of their ability to limit chances against”) and the Kings at No. 4 (“Darryl Sutter has instilled a style that wins in the playoffs; basically stifle all offense against.”) Yet, for them to meet up in the second round, as was expected, there’s going to have to be some major turn of events. Caution: Major Road Work Ahead.
We know from recent history the Kings once lost three in a row to the Sharks in a Western Conference first-round series, somehow scrambled back to win it, then outlasted the Ducks in an epic second round before figuring out an improbable way of claiming the 2014 Stanley Cup. What’ll it take this time? Drew Doughty playing 60 minutes (or more) a game? He’s already logged 34 shifts and 29:19 minutes in Game 1 and 32 shifts and 29:15 minutes in Game 2. But it hasn’t stopped Joe Pavelski from becoming the first star of the game in the first two contests.
During the regular season, the Ducks lost at Nashville on Oct. 22 by a 5-1 count back when they were a mess, sporting a 1-9 record in that month. Circling back on Nov. 17, the Ducks also lost 3-2 with Frederick Anderson in the nets. With an 0-2 deficit in this series to match what the Kings face, the Ducks have no other gameplan other than to figure out a way for their best players to play better than their opponents’ best.
Best of luck.
Also this week for the Kings: Game 4 at San Jose is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., FSW; If necessary, Game 5 is at Staples Center on Friday, Prime Ticket, with Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday, Time TBA, on FSW or Prime Ticket.
Also this week for the Ducks: Game 4 at Nashville, Thursday at 5 p.m., Prime Ticket. Game 5 at Anaheim, Saturday, time TBA.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
NBA PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
CLIPPERS vs. PORTLAND
Details/TV: Game 2 at Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., TNT
The Washington Post posted four “X Factors” for the NBA’s Western Conference series. One of them was Blazers’ shooting guard C.J. McCollum, who, when trying to continue the flow of the team’s offense when the reserves take in minutes, might enjoy facing non-defensive minded Jamal Crawford or Austin Rivers. Writes the Post about second-year man McCollum, the 6-4, 200-pounder out of Lehigh who was second to Damian Lillard in averaging 20.8 points, 4.3 assists and 34.8 minutes a game: “(His) ability to get his own shot as well as create easy looks for the likes of Ed Davis and Allen Crabbe will go a long way to determining if Portland can generate the margins they need.” Also note: The Clippers were worst in the league from 12-to-nine minutes mark left in the second quarter. In the Clippers’ 20-point series opening win, McCollum scored just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting, and 1-for-5 from 3-point land.
Also this week: Game 3 at Portland, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN
THE REST OF THE WEEK:
The Dodgers head to Atlanta and Colorado, while the Angels finish a road trip in Chicago before coming home against Seattle … The 120th Boston Marathon lands on Monday … UCLA’s spring football game is Saturday at Drake Stadium … More at this link.