Kings/Sharks: Pacific Showdown [Game #35 Preview]

Didn't we just do this? The Sharks beat the Kings 6-3 on November 15th.

So, what have you been up to? Since their last meeting, San Jose has gone 10-6-3. They are currently on a 4 game winning streak; the Kings have won their last 3.

Well, you're looking good! [Really?] Recently? Yes, but this team is still looking for consistency in the long term. Potential Calder candidate Logan Couture has shored up their scoring (18 G, 7 A). Patrick Marleau ended his drought and is on a scoring streak again (5 points in the last 3 games). Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley are tied for the team’s scoring lead with 32 points. Niemi and Niittymaki have split time in net, but Niemi has sub-par numbers (.900 SV%) and Niittymaki has a better record (12-3-3, .910 SV%).

Hey, whatever happened to... Jonathan Quick will be back in net tonight, facing the Sharks for the first time this season.

How's that workin' for ya? The Sharks’ PP is 6th in the league (22.8%); their PK is 12th (82%). Meanwhile, the Kings’ power play continues its steady improvement and has climbed back up to 15th place (17.2%).

OMG, did you hear about: ... Injured Kings: Scott Parse, Willie Mitchell. Injured Sharks: Torrey Mitchell (lower body), John McCarthy (upper body).

Okay, well, nice to see you as always... season series: Sharks up, 1-0. This is the second of six meetings. Whichever team prevails tonight will take over second place in the Pacific and be within one point of Dallas in first. I expect playoff intensity tonight.