Everyone's favorite Christmas visitor, the Los Angeles Kings (22-10-4, 1st Pacific) come to town looking for their third win in a row in San Jose against our Sharks (18-11-4, 3rd Pacific). Expect a low scoring affair, as the Sharks and Kings are tied for the fewest goals allowed in the NHL to date (83). The last game between these two teams saw a total of three (3) goals scored. The Kings have enjoyed a return to relevance this year, largely on the back of top line center and secret spy from an advanced society of hyper-intelligent raccoons, Anze Kopitar, who leads his club in goals (17), assists (23), and therefore points (40) through 38 games.
The Kings seem to have found their footing lately, posting a record of 10-2-1 in their last 13, after stumbling through their previous eight to the tune of 1-6-1. This has come in no small part due to the efforts of local hero Jonathan Quick, who is 8-2-0 in his last 10, having allowed only 19 goals in that span. This sits in stark contrast to his former protégé and counterpart tonight, Martin Jones, who has a less impressive record of 1-3-2 in his last six, having allowed four or more goals in each game.
Both teams are coming into tonight's contest off of overtime victories against Western conference opponents. The Kings came out on top of the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night with a 2-1 game winner from Dustin Brown, who's been enjoying a comeback of his own this season, much to the dissatisfaction of just about everyone capable of human empathy.
The Sharks topped off a 5-4 overtime thriller over the Vancouver Canucks that very same night, when hero of the day Kevin Labanc added an overtime winner to his three assists for the evening. That game also saw Joe Thornton, the closest person we have to a San Jose Santa Claus, take sole possession of 18th all time in points with two goals. Next up on that list is Adam Oates; Jumbo needs four points to tie the fun-must-be-never skills coach for 17th.
Jannik Hansen -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson -- Tomas Hertl -- Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen -- Joel Ward -- Mikkel Boedker
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns
Joakim Ryan -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Tim Heed
Injured: Logan Couture (concussion), Barclay Goodrow (lower body)
Ryan should draw into the lineup after being recalled from the AHL's Barracuda yesterday, in place of Heed. Paul Martin missed the last game of his conditioning stint with the flu, but is likely to return to the Sharks after the holiday break.
Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli
Marian Gaborik -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis
Andy Andreoff -- Torrey Mitchell -- Jonny Brodzinski
Jake Muzzin -- Drew Doughty
Kurtis MacDermid -- Alec Martinez
Derek Forbort -- Oscar Fantenberg
Scratched: Kyle Clifford, Jussi Jokinen, Kevin Gravel
Injured: Christian Folin (lower body), Jeff Carter (lower body)
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, FS-W
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App