Programming note – Sharks-Kings coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 23-12-1, 47 points, 1st Pacific Division
Kings: 17-15-4, 38 points, 5th Pacific Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***The Sharks bring a four-game winning streak into the first of two consecutive meetings with the Kings at Staples Center. San Jose has won eight of its last nine overall, including Friday night’s 2-0 shutout of the Flyers at SAP Center. They continue to lead the Pacific Division, with a three-point lead and a game in hand over second place Edmonton.
San Jose has played on New Year’s Eve nine times, all on the road, going 7-1-1.
***Los Angeles has lost three straight (0-2-1), and is just 1-3-2 in its last six. The Kings have scored two or fewer goals in six of their last seven, and are missing second-leading scorer Tyler Toffoli, who has been out for the last four games with a lower body injury.
The Kings just completed a nine-game road swing (sandwiched around the Christmas break) with a 3-4-2 record, and will be playing at home for the first time since Dec. 10. They are 10-4-1 at Staples Center.
***Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s status for the game is uncertain after he took a slap shot to the face late in Friday’s win. Coach Pete DeBoer said after the game that it was doubtful Vlasic would take the postgame flight to southern California.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Martin Jones. After a rare night off on Friday, Jones will presumably return to the net against the Kings tonight and again on Tuesday in the rematch at SAP Center. He’s had tremendous success against his former team, with a 5-1-1 record, 2.12 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in seven appearances. He’s tied for second in the NHL with 19 wins and is eighth in GAA (2.08).
Kings: Dustin Brown. In his first season after getting stripped of the captaincy, Brown has 15 points (4g, 11a) in 35 games, and with a team-worst minus-10 rating. He’s skating on the top line lately with the equally cold Anze Kopitar, and has just one goal in his last 17 games. Still, Brown can impact the game in other ways, as Sharks fans well know. He leads the Kings with 95 hits.
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Melker Karlsson – Micheal Haley – Joel Ward
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
David Schlemko – Dylan DeMelo
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson – Jeff Carter – Devin Setoguchi
Kyle Clifford – Nic Dowd – Trevor Lewis
Dwight King – Nick Shore – Jordan Nolan
Derek Forbort – Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin – Alec Martinez
Brayden McNabb – Kevin Gravel
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (face) is doubtful. Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) is out.
Kings: Jonathan Quick (groin) and Tyler Toffoli (lower body) are out.
“Guys are getting into the [shooting] lanes, even up by two goals with 30 seconds left. We're doing it for Deller, or if Jones is in there, we're doing the same thing. We take a lot of pride in the D zone." – Justin Braun