The Sharks (22-13-6, 4th Pacific) hit the road for the first of a three game road trip with a visit to our best best friends, the Los Angeles Kings (24-14-5, 3rd Pacific). The Sharks and Kings have at least one thing in common, they've both recently been bumped down the Pacific division standings by the surging Calgary Flames. Winners of seven in a row, the Flames have vaulted themselves up into second place, but their bye week combined with the Kings' lackluster play as of late gives the Sharks a huge opportunity to make their case for post-season home ice.
The Kings have lost their last three games in regulation, two against division opponents and one against the aforementioned Flames. Three fights in the span of four seconds may have been an early attempt to light a fire under their bench on Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks, but it was to no avail, as the Kings dropped a 4-2 loss to their crosstown rivals. They've lost what was a pretty dominant hold on the second spot in the division with a 4-6-2 run since mid December. Couldn't have happened to a bunch of nicer guys, too.
The Sharks will have hopefully learned the right lesson from their 6-5 fire wagon overtime win over the visiting Arizona Coyotes that same Saturday night. The two points are big after a 1-2-2 road trip, but it may have only happened because Joonas Donskoi is good enough to beat the Coyotes by himself. The Sharks should be taking some hard lessons about neutral zone play and team defense out of that game, because as rough as the Kings' past few weeks have been, they're a dangerous squad this year and will be desperate to turn things around.
The Sharks are only four points back of the Flames for second place with four fewer games played, but are also only one point out of fifth place ahead of the climbing Ducks. A win today and, dare I ask, tomorrow would go a long way toward securing a less precarious position in the standings.
Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Joonas Donskoi
Joel Ward -- Barclay Goodrow -- Melker Karlsson
Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Joakim Ryan -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Jannik Hansen, Tim Heed
With Paul Martin waived and DeMelo recovered from his "illness," the coaching staff looks likely to take this opportunity to ignore the Dillon-Burns issues illuminated by Saturday's slop fest. Matinee games are short on info, however, so these are subject to swift and radical change.
Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli
Marian Gaborik -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford -- Torrey Mitchell -- Andy Andreoff
Kevin Gravel -- Drew Doughty
Kurtis MacDermid -- Alec Martinez
Derek Forbort -- Christian Folin
Scratched: Oscar Fantenberg, Jonny Brodzinski, Jussi Jokinen
Injured: Jake Muzzin (upper body), Jeff Carter (lower body)
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSA, FS-W
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App