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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, October 30th (All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (10-1-1) at Los Angeles Kings (8-5-0), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The quick-starting San Jose Sharks wrap up a five-game road trip on Wednesday night when they visit the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings for the first time this season.
The Sharks have won two in a row since suffering their lone regulation loss this season, improving to 10-1-1 with Sunday's victory over the Ottawa Senators.
San Jose scored three times in the first period on the way to a 5-2 triumph, with backup netminder Alex Stalock making 38 saves in his first career start. The American-born 26-year-old was giving workhorse Antti Niemi his first game off this season.
"I saw a lot early and was able to feel it," Stalock said. "I was lucky enough to make saves."
James Sheppard and Tommy Wingels both registered a goal and an assist for San Jose, while Tomas Hertl snapped a six-game goal drought with his eighth of the season.
San Jose is 3-1-0 on a five-game road trip and is close to getting some healthy bodies back. Both Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat are officially game-time decisions for this game, while Matt Nieto is looking to return after missing the win over the Senators with a hand injury.
Boyle has missed the last six games since leaving the ice on a stretcher on a hit from behind in St. Louis on Oct. 15. He continued to practice on Tuesday, as did Havlat, who has yet to play this season following groin surgery.
The Sharks split their four meetings with the Kings last season, winning both contests at home.
However, they have lost six of seven and eight of their past 12 in Los Angeles.
Niemi should return to net tonight and is 10-5-2 with a pair of shutouts and a 2.39 goals against average in his career versus the Kings.
Los Angeles will try to avoid a second loss in a row tonight after dropping a 3-1 decision in Phoenix on Tuesday. The Kings were hitting the road following a 3-1-0 homestand and play the first of four straight as the host tonight.
Jarret Stoll had the Kings' lone goal last night and Ben Scrivens made 30 saves in his second start of the season.
"I felt I played well in the first and I tried to keep the boys in it through a couple of tough penalty kills," Scrivens said. "But overall this league is about winning. They did a good job of getting guys in front."
Los Angeles has scored just two goals in two games following a 7-4 win over the Coyotes on Oct. 24.
With Scrivens getting a rare start last night, Jonathan Quick is likely to face the Sharks on Wednesday. He is 9-4-5 in his career against the division rivals, logging two shutouts and a 2.55 GAA.
10/30 10:54:05 ET