SAN JOSE Now the Sharks will test their mettle against the defending Stanley Cup champions. San Jose finally learned Sunday night that it will face the Los Angeles Kings in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs after the Detroit Red Wings ousted the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in their Game 7 showdown. Had Anaheim won, the Sharks would have faced the Chicago Blackhawks.
Though the Sharks now know their opponent, when the series will begin at Staples Center remained a mystery as the NHL did not announce a schedule.
While dodging the top-seeded Blackhawks and long flights to the Midwest, the Sharks face a formidable challenge.
"We were the last team to beat them in the playoffs, and that's been a long time," said Logan Couture, referring to the Sharks' six-game series win over the Kings in 2011. "They find a way to win games, to close out series. They've got that experience."
San Jose was 2-2 against the Kings in the regular season, one of the wins coming in a shootout. That 2011 series was the only other time the teams have met in the playoffs.
That, however, was before former Sharks coach Darryl Sutter took over behind the Los Angeles bench in December 2011. The fact that Sutter was hired there by someone else with San Jose connections, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi, only adds to the rivalry.
Red Wings 3, Ducks 2 in Anaheim Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula each had a goal and an assist, and Detroit finished off Anaheim with a victory in Game 7. Justin Abdelkader scored a short-handed goal, and Jimmy Howard made 31 saves as the seventh-seeded Red Wings won three of the first-round series' final four games to oust the Ducks, who had the NHL's third-best record in the regular season.
Rangers 1, Capitals 0 in New York Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots in earning his seventh NHL playoff shutout, and Derick Brassard scored a second-period goal for New York, which stayed alive with a victory over Washington that forced Game 7 in the first-round series. Brassard handed Lundqvist the lead at 9:39 of the second period with a goal that originally was credited to struggling forward Rick Nash.
Maple Leafs 2, Bruins 1 in Toronto Captain Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel scored third-period goals, and Toronto edged Boston to send their playoff series back to Boston for Game 7 tonight. Not only did the win keep the Leafs alive, it snapped a 54-year run of home playoff failures against the Bruins.
Jurisprudence Derek Boogaard's family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the NHL, the New York Times reported. The family says the NHL is responsible for the brain damage that Boogaard sustained during six seasons as an enforcer in the league and for his addiction to prescription painkillers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.