LOS ANGELES -– Alex Stalock will be in net and Justin Braun will miss Saturday's game with an illness as the Sharks conclude their season at Staples Center against the Kings.
Stalock will get an opportunity to finish his season with more wins than regulation losses, as he’s 8-8-2 with a 2.60 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 21 games. It also means Antti Niemi may have played his last game with San Jose, as the goaltender is a pending unrestricted free agent.
Filling in for Braun on the blue line will be John Scott, as the Sharks have just 20 healthy players. Scott has played defense before in his pro career, but this will be his first time lining there for San Jose. Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) and Scott Hannan (facial injury) remain out.
The Sharks and Kings have both been eliminated from playoff contention. Coach Todd McLellan was asked what he wants to see from his side.
“Play to win. That’s all we’re doing,” he said.
Bryan Lerg will remain in, while Mike Brown will also return, presumably on the fourth line with Lerg and Ben Smith.
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The Sharks will end the season with five players that managed to suit up for all 82 games: Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns.
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Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin is a pending unrestricted free agent. McLellan agreed with the suggestion that the 27-year-old defenseman had a much better second half than first half, when he was in and out of the lineup.
“He spent a lot of time working in his skating in the first half, and I think it paid off in the second half,” McLellan said.
Irwin has 8 goals, 19 points and a +4 rating in 52 games.