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The Magic has returned for the Kings in their defense of the Stanley Cup


The magic of the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings has returned.

The Kings have won the first two games of the NHL Western Conference semifinals against the San Jose Sharks.

The Kings might have had their best comeback ever to win game two of the series on Thursday night.

Los Angeles was behind 3-2 in the final two minutes of regulation and rallied to win 4-3.

The magic may have returned, but the Sharks were able to outplay the Kings for the majority of both games, even though Los Angeles walked away with both wins. Games 3 and 4 will be played on San Jose’s home ice at the HP Pavilion.

The magic the Kings enjoy is evidenced in their scoring. Los Angeles has scored just 18 goals in their eight games thus far in the postseason. However, the Kings have won 6 of those 8 games.

The key is that in that same stretch of 8 games, the team has allowed just 13 goals. That for the most part has been thanks to the outstanding goaltending of Jonathan Quick and the team’s penalty killing line. The Kings’ penalty killers have not allowed the Sharks to score for seven straight man advantages over a period of 13 ½ minutes.

The Sharks’ Raffi Torres was suspended for the remaining games of the playoff series with the Kings after an illegal check to Jarret Stoll in game 1. The Sharks management said they do not agree with the suspension set down by the NHL but will not appeal it. They feel it was a clean hit

The Kings players have said they have yet to play their best hockey as they have allowed the Sharks to bring the game to them in the defensive zone.

Los Angeles must shot more often and get to their net more times to create scrums in front of the Sharks’ net.

This postseason has been different from their Stanley Cup drive last season. The Kings had to fight back from being down 0-2 in the first round and have had to play without injured Kyle Clifford and Stoll. Last season, the Kings did not suffer any injuries in the postseason and led most of their playoff series 3-0.

The road has not been kind to the Kings this season and that has to be a concern with the next two games in San Jose. During the regular season, Los Angeles was 8-12-4 on the road allowing opponents to score 74 goals in just 24 games. In San Jose, the Kings were 0-1-1 during the regular season.

Playing in what has been dubbed the “Shark Tank” is not easy for opponents as the fans in San Jose are some of the loudest in the NHL.

However, a win in game 3 Saturday or in game 4, would go a long way in continuing the magic for the Kings in their bid to repeat as NHL champions.

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