January 25, 2011 3:40 pm

Battle before the break

Terms such as “playoff-like game” and “playoff atmosphere” get tossed around too often in the regular season, but if it ever applied, tomorrow’s Kings-Sharks game might be the right fit. It’s the final game before the All-Star break for both teams, so it should come with a let-it-all-hang-out attitude. Plus, it’s a game between division rivals. Plus, it’s a game between two teams that were expected to contend for the Pacific Division title but currently sit in fourth (Sharks) and fifth (Kings), with both teams out of the top eight in the Western Conference. Both teams come in with some positive feeling, the Kings after back-to-back wins and the Sharks on a four-game winning streak, and Terry Murray said he expects an intense game…

MURRAY: “I hope so. Those are the fun games to play, whenever you’re playing your division rivals. You’re going to get fired up for that kind of a game, without any need of help from anybody else. You come to the rink, you’re excited, your adrenaline is flowing a little bit faster, and you just want to get on the ice and compete. That’s what we’re looking forward to, is that game tomorrow night against San Jose. They’re trying to put it all together and get themselves going, and we’re the same, so I think it will be a real fun game.”

Kings assistant captain Matt Greene also expects a hard-fought game…

GREENE: “It should be a good game. We’ve got to even up the series here, and they need the points too. So it should be a nice battle, going into the break. The good news is that we’ve got four days off to rest up, so we can leave it all out there tomorrow.”

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