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Sharks vs. Kings Game 5 Preview: Series lead up for grabs

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It's a brand-new series, in the sense that it's actually the same series but with fewer games remaining. At any rate, San Jose looks to take a crucial Game 5 tonight in L.A. to put themselves on the verge of victory.

Thearon W. Henderson

As well as the Sharks have played in this series--and they've played pretty damn well--the odds are still decidedly stacked against them and they would be well-served to keep that in mind heading into tonight's pivotal Game 5 at Staples Center. Both clubs have held serve on home ice, as we probably should have expected given that they combined for a 36-6-6 home record and 16-26-6 road record in the regular season. Unfortunately for the Sharks, the Kings don't have to notch a victory in enemy territory in order to advance to the conference final.

Particularly if the Red Wings defeat the Blackhawks to move a win away from closing out that series, tonight's showdown in Los Angeles looks to be one of the most important games in Sharks franchise history. In a season where making the playoffs once felt like a dicey endeavor, the stars are aligning for a serious Cup run if San Jose can manage to make it out of this round alive. It starts tonight against the defending champions.

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Game 5

Series tied 2-2

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7:30PM PST | Staples Center | Los Angeles, California
TV: CSNCA-HD, NBCSN | Radio: 98.5 KFOX, SJSharks.com
Know Your Enemy: Jewels From The Crown, Battle Of California, The Royal Half

Projected Sharks Lineup

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joe Pavelski
T.J. Galiardi - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
James Sheppard - Scott Gomez - Tommy Wingels
Bracken Kearns - Andrew Desjardins - Tim Kennedy

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan - Brad Stuart

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Projected Kings Lineup

Kyle Clifford - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dwight King - Trevor Lewis - Dustin Brown
Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser - Tyler Toffoli

Robyn Regehr - Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi - Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier