For the third time in the past four years, the Sharks will battle the Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The second-seeded Kings will host the third-seeded Sharks beginning on Thursday at Staples Center. The matchup became official on Sunday evening, when Anaheim clinched the Pacific Division title by beating the Capitals, 2-0, in Washington.
The full Sharks-Kings first round schedule is as follows:
Game 1 - Thursday, April 14, 7:30 p.m. @ Los Angeles
Game 2 - Saturday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. @ Los Angeles
Game 3 - Monday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. @ San Jose
Game 4 - Wednesday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. @ San Jose
*Game 5 - Friday, April 22, TBD @ Los Angeles
*Game 6 - Sunday, April 24, TBD @ San Jose
*Game 7 - Tuesday, April 26, TBD @ Los Angeles
* - if necessary
The local broadcast schedule has yet to be announced.
The Sharks finished 3-1-1 against the Kings this season, going 2-0-0 at Staples Center and 1-1-1 at SAP Center. They have been eliminated by Los Angeles in their last two playoff appearances in the 2013 second round and 2014 first round in a pair of series that went the full seven games, and beat the Kings in 2011 in six games in the first round.
The 2014 first round series stands out, of course, as the Kings erased a three-games-to-none deficit to eliminate San Jose in shocking fashion, becoming just the fourth team in NHL history to dig out of a 3-0 hole.
The winner of the Sharks-Kings series will face the winner of the Ducks-Predators series in the second round. The other Western Conference matchups include the Stars playing the Wild, and the Blues facing the Blackhawks.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Wednesday. Every game will be broadcast on the NBC family of networks.