Programming note: Sharks-Kings coverage gets underway at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN
Where they stand
Sharks: 24-17-6, 54 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Kings: 20-14-12, 52 points, 5th Pacific Division
Sharks: The New Jersey Devils scored five goals, including one on the power play and another shorthanded, in beat the Sharks at SAP Center on Monday, 5-2. The loss was San Jose’s fifth in the last six home games (1-4-1), and dropped them to 1-1-1 on a season-long seven-game homestand. Matt Nieto and Joe Pavelski were the Sharks’ goal-scorers, while Alex Stalock took the look in front of a soft San Jose defense.
Kings: The Calgary Flames beat the Kings in overtime at Staples Center on Monday, 2-1. Jarret Stoll scored the lone Los Angeles goal, while Jonathan Quick stopped 21 of 23 shots. The Kings have just one win in their last seven games (1-2-4), including three straight losses (0-1-2).
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Matt Nieto. The Sharks sophomore scored his first goal since Dec. 2 on Monday, a stretch which included a nine-game absence with an ankle injury. The 22-year-old will assume his place on the second line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau, where he started the season, looking to improve on his 11 points (4g, 7a) in 37 games output. Perhaps that goal against the Devils will get him going.
Kings: Drew Doughty. The perennial Norris Trophy candidate has skated more than 31 minutes in each of the last two games, and is second in the league at 29:23 per game. Doughty has also chipped in four goals and 24 assists for 28 points, placing him third on the Kings in scoring, and has 18 points (3g, 15a) in 35 career games against the Sharks.
Goals per game: 2.66 (19th)
Goals-against per game: 2.68 (18th)
Power play: 20.5 percent (9th)
Penalty kill: 81.5 percent (15th)
Goals per game: 2.74 (14th)
Goals-against per game: 2.50 (10th)
Power play: 19.2 percent (12th)
Penalty kill: 78.7 percent (24th)
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Matt Nieto
Tomas Hertl – James Sheppard – Tyler Kennedy
John Scott – Andrew Desjardins – Barclay Goodrow
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Matt Tennyson
Matt Irwin – Scott Hannan
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford – Nick Shore – Jeff Carter
Dustin Brown – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jordan Nolan
Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Brayden McNabb – Matt Greene
Robyn Regehr – Alec Martinez
Jonathan Quick (likely starter)
Sharks: Justin Braun (upper body), Tommy Wingels (left hand), Raffi Torres (right knee) and Mike Brown (broken right fibula) are out. Mirco Mueller (wrist) is on a conditioning assignment in AHL Worcester.
Kings: Martin Jones (back), Tyler Toffoli (mono), Tanner Pearson (leg) and Slava Voynov (suspension) are out.
The Sharks and Kings have met have split their first two meetings, both at Staples Center. San Jose won in the season opener for both teams, 4-0 on Oct. 8, while Los Angeles skated to a 3-1 triumph on Dec. 27.
Tommy Wingels, Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns and Anze Kopitar all have two points in the season series.
The Sharks are 68-51-14 all-time against the Kings, while home teams are 14-2-1 in the last 17 regular season meetings.
The outdoor game between the Sharks and Kings at Levi’s Stadium is in exactly one month, on Feb. 21. The teams meet for a fifth and final time on the last day of the regular season, April 11 in Southern California.
“Once we score, we’ve got to keep that momentum going in our favor and have a killer instinct to really put the team away when our momentum is up there. We’ve got to do a better job of that.” – Matt Nieto
Catch Insider Kevin Kurz as he looks ahead to tonight’s big Kings-Sharks matchup on Yahoo! SportsTalk Live at 5 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area