SAN JOSE -- Nobody expected the Sharks to be making any lineup changes after their 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in their playoff series opener. Turns out the Kings are also going with the same cast when the teams meet Sunday night in Game 2.

What Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter would like to see is a better performance from his best players.

"Surely, your top players have to be a little more on top of it and that's right through your lineup," Sutter said, mentioning the goalie position, top two defenseman spots and top two forward lines. "If you do it, you can take that from last game for sure and we'll be better at that tonight."

San Jose Sharks’ Mike Brown (18) hits the ice fighting for the puck against Los Angeles Kings’ Alec Martinez (27) in the second period for Game
San Jose Sharks' Mike Brown (18) hits the ice fighting for the puck against Los Angeles Kings' Alec Martinez (27) in the second period for Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Thursday, April 17, 2014. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) (Nhat V. Meyer)

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Game 1 makes it easy for him to point out to his players what they need to do right in order to come away with a 2-0 series lead. After two dominating periods, the Sharks gave up three consecutive goals in the third that allowed Los Angeles to close the gap to two goals.

Play an aggressive game — "And when I say aggressive," the Sharks coach said, "I don't mean running around hitting them all over the place, (though) that's part of it" — and the Sharks give themselves the chance to win.

"If you play on your heels, you stand back, you give them time and space and the ability to generate speed and get their forecheck going, you have no chance of winning," he added. "We can use Game 1 as a real good teaching tool."


The series opener featured 121 hits, but McLellan declined to forecast whether that questionable stat would be duplicated Sunday night.

"I can't predict numbers or where it's going to go," he said. "For me, situations create the volume. Where's the puck? If the puck is played along the boards a lot more than there's going to be more bumping and grinding. It's more open ice if it's power play and penalty kill."