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Sharks vs. Kings preview: League's best rivalry resumes in Southern California

Second place in the Pacific on the line as the Sharks return from the holiday break with a game against L.A.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since the first night of the season, the Sharks and Kings will resume their heated rivalry with second place in the Pacific Division up for grabs. In a little less than two months they'll be playing outdoors under stadium lights at Levi's but tonight the teams meet up at Staples Center in L.A. for a nationally televised game with some serious immediate implications in the standings.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

@

Los Angeles Kings
19-11-5, 43 points
Record 17-11-7, 41 points
2nd in Pacific Rank 4th in Pacific
51.9%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 52.3%
99.4
PDO 100.7
25.0
PP% 19.7
84.4
PK% 79.8

7PM PST | Staples Center | Los Angeles, California
TV: NBCSN | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Jewels From The CrownThe Royal HalfBattle Of California

Projected Sharks Lineup

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Barclay Goodrow - James Sheppard - Melker Karlsson
Tye McGinn - Andrew Desjardins - Micheal Haley

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns
Scott Hannan - Matt Tennyson

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Kings Lineup

Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Carter
Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams
Tanner Pearson - Trevor Lewis - Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Kyle Clifford

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene
Brayden McNabb - Jamie McBain

Jonathan Quick
Martin Jones

Last Meeting

On the first night of the 2014-15 regular season, the Sharks spoiled the Kings' banner-raising ceremony. Tommy Wingels scored twice, including on a beautiful breakaway backhand deke, and Matt Nieto and Patrick Marleau added tallies as the Sharks beat the Kings 4-0 at Staples.

Storylines

  • John Scott will serve the first game of his four-game suspension. Micheal Haley, recalled yesterday afternoon from Worcester, will make his big league debut in Scott's stead.
  • Antti Niemi gets the start in net for the Sharks after a solid performance in Anaheim. Jonathan Quick will likely start for L.A.
  • San Jose has just one regulation loss in their last 11 games.