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Sharks @ Kings: Preview and Gamethread

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YOU AGAIN!

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)

Time: 7:00 PM PST

TV: NBCSN

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Carter
Brown-Stoll-Williams
Pearson-Lewis-Toffoli
Clifford-Richards-King

Muzzin-Doughty
Martinez-Greene
McNabb-McBain

Quick
(Jones)

Scratched: Andreoff, Nolan, Schultz; Suspended: Voynov; Injured: Regehr (upper-body)

Sharks (projected) lineup:

Hertl-Thornton-Pavelski
Marleau-Couture- Wingels
Goodrow-Sheppard-Karlsson
Haley-Desjardins-McGinn

Vlasic-Braun
Dillon-Burns
Hannan-Tennyson

Niemi
(Stalock)

Scratched: Torres (right knee), Kennedy (left shoulder), Brown (broken right fibula); Suspended: Captain John Scott

Notes:
  • First Kings-Sharks matchup since Banner Night. I don't need to tell you about all the Kings-Sharks matchups that led to THAT point, though.
  • The Sharks are 8-1-1 in their last ten. Hopefully the holiday break cooled them off.
  • NBCSN just ran an advertisement for this game as "Couture and the Sharks vs the Kings," so maybe they're still rolling with the "THIS IS COUTURE'S TEAM NOW!" storyline which has never actually been true. Joe Thornton leads the Sharks in points, by the way. You probably could've guessed.
  • San Jose has gotten extremely balanced scoring at the top end of their lineup, with Thornton, Couture, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and Brent Burns all between 27 and 30 points.
  • I actually don't have a column about that, but I can tell you that Lewis gets to stay with Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson to start this game.
  • Of course, the real scoring has come from Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, and Jeff Carter lately. Not surprisingly, they are the three most prolific scorers (in points per game) on the team this season after their recent surge.
  • NBCSN is now reminding me that this is one of the "best rivalries in the sport." Finally, it doesn't feel like they're just paying lip service to the rivalry; every Kings-Sharks game this season will be on an NBC network. Of course, this rivalry fully deserves larger exposure, and I'm excited for LA to get another crack at the Sharks.
  • Prediction: Lewis, Toffoli, and Pearson each score a goal in a 3-1 win. We all proceed to excitedly yell "TANNER, TREVOR, AND TYLER!" until we pass out.