The Sharks (9-6-0, third Pacific) take a quick trip to SoCal tonight to visit our good best friends the Los Angeles Kings (11-3-2, 1st Pacific) before coming back home to host the Panthers on Thursday. The Kings are good again this year, I guess, and just suffered their first regulation loss at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning to the tune of 5-2 on Thursday, giving up four goals in the span of just over two minutes in the first period. They'll be looking to bounce back from that one-sided affair and make a statement tonight.
The Sharks are on the second half of a back to back, having just walloped the Vancouver Canucks 5-0 Saturday night. The game was not quite as one sided as that score would indicate, however, with Vancouver controlling large stretches of play, yet failing to get past Aaron Dell. San Jose's penalty kill continues to be a light in the darkness, their 89.5% efficiency good enough for second in the league. Three shorthanded goals last night adds a few cherries to this particular Sunday, and though our good friend and all around kind and gentle soul Chris Tierney scored two of them in the dying minutes of play (one into an empty net, one on a penalty shot), they all count the same on the stat sheet.
That particular special teams gloat may fall a bit short tonight, however, as the only team with a more effective penalty kill this season than the Sharks is, you guessed it, the LA Kings. The Kings' PK is tops in the NHL, shutting down opposing power plays at an absurd clip of 91.5%. That figure, combined with the Sharks' often cringe inducing power play as of late could create some unfortunate situations this evening.
One-legged bearded wonder Joe Thornton is still chasing that 12th-all-time assists dragon after a pointless affair last night. He's still hot, however, and has nine points (two goals, eight assists) in his last 11 games. On the other end of the ice, Tyler Toffoli has five points (three goals, two assists) in his last four games, and Raccoon Captain Anze Kopitar will be looking to extend his seven game point streak.
While we all postpone our day to day responsibilities for one more blissful evening, a solid win over our Southern rivals would do a lot to start the week on a good note, and would be a wonderful birthday present for just-now-24-year-old Tomas Hertl to Czech off the list.
Have fun out there, boys!
Joonas Donskoi -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl
Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Mikkel Boedker
Kevin Labanc -- Barclay Goodrow -- Joel Ward
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Tim Heed, Jannik Hansen
Injured: Paul Martin (ankle)
Kevin Labanc was called up from the San Jose Barracuda earlier today, and will slot into the lineup in place of Jannik Hansen. Martin Jones' position as starter is likely the only other change from Saturday night's contest.
Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli
Andy Andreoff -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis
Michael Cammalleri -- Brooks Laich -- Nic Dowd
Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez
Kurtis MacDermid -- Oscar Fantenberg
Scratched: Michael Amadio, Christian Folin
Injured: Jeff Carter (ankle), Kyle Clifford (upper body), Marian Gaborik (knee)
Adrian Kempe missed Thursday's game to illness, but will suit up again tonight, no doubt a sigh of relief for the team, as he has been solid this year, posting 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his 15 appearances. Marian Gaborik practiced this morning with the team for the first time since knee surgery, but his timetable for return remains uncertain.
Where to Watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, FS-W
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App