Rudolfs Balcers is making his return to the San Jose Sharks’ lineup tonight, after missing three games with an upper-body injury. His return will cause some shuffling among the forward group, as Ryan Donato will center the fourth line with John Leonard and Kurtis Gabriel, and Dylan Gambrell will center Marcus Sorensen and Balcers on the third line. Patrick Marleau will take Leonard’s place on the second line.
The visiting Los Angeles Kings have made a surprising push, just five points out from overtaking the St. Louis Blues for the final playoff spot, though their 13-11-6 record isn’t exactly inspiring. They’ve earned three points against the Sharks so far this season, losing 4-3 in a shootout and winning 6-2 in a series in early February.
Dustin Brown is leading the team in goals, with 14, while Anze Kopitar’s 29 assists and 37 points top the other scoring categories.
Here’s everything you need to know to tune in tonight:
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Evander Kane — Logan Couture — Kevin Labanc
Patrick Marleau — Tomas Hertl — Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen — Dylan Gambrell — Rudolfs Balcers
John Leonard — Ryan Donato — Kurtis Gabriel
Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Nikolai Knyzhov — Erik Karlsson
Radim Simek — Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Expected Scratches: Fredrik Claesson, Antti Suomela
Injured Reserve: Matt Nieto (lower body)
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Alex Iafallo — Anze Kopitar — Dustin Brown
Carl Grundstrom — Jaret Anderson-Dolan — Trevor Moore
Andreas Athanasiou — Adrian Kempe — Jeff Carter
Austin Wagner — Blake Lizotte — Gabriel Vilardi
Mikey Anderson — Drew Doughty
Tobias Bjornfot — Matt Roy
Kurtis MacDermid — Sean Walker
Expected Scratches: Matt Luff
Injured Reserve: Olli Maatta (upper body), Martin Frk (lower body)
How to Watch
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center in San Jose, California. Tonight’s game will be broadcast regionally on Fox Sports West and NBC Sports Bay Area, as well as available to stream through NHL.tv (blackout restrictions apply).
Follow along in the comments for live updates and reactions throughout the game!