(TiqIQ/CBS) – The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will face off in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after only a point separated them in the standings during the regular season. As one of the better rivalries in the NHL, a meeting between these two teams in the playoffs is likely to bring added intensity and a higher price than a normal playoff series.
The average price for LA Kings playoff tickets at Staples Center on the secondary market is currently $200.06, 107% above LA’s regular season average. Meanwhile in San Jose, prices have gone up just 43% for a $141.54 average for Sharks playoff tickets. The 43% increase is the lowest playoff premium for any of the 16 playoff bound teams this season and the $141.54 is the lowest home average for the playoffs.
Adding some more intrigue to the Kings playoff schedule, San Jose and Los Angeles met in the Conference Semifinals last year. The Kings won in seven games, narrowly getting the edge in the final game with a close 2-1 victory. The series figures to be just as close this time around. The Kings won the season series against the Sharks 3-1-1 in the regular season, and own the most lopsided victory, with a 4-1 win back in December. Every other game has been won by a single goal, with two games going to a shootout. The Sharks won the most recent meeting between the two 2-1 on April 3rd.
The Kings are stingy on the defensive end, only allowing a league-best two goals per game. Having arguably the best goaltender in the league certainly helps. Jonathan Quick put up a 2.07 GAA with a .915 save percentage. The Sharks are a well-balanced team ranking sixth and fifth in goals scored and goals allowed, respectively. They also had the sixth-best penalty kill. The Sharks have one of the best groups of centers in the league highlighted with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, who have each topped 70 points for the season.
These two evenly matched teams seem destined to put on another exciting series in the first round this year. Even when factoring in the playoff premium for these two teams, the on-ice play should well exceed the ticket price to see this opening round matchup.
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