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At the Rink: Sharks at Kings

by Curtis Zupke

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A familiar face will be in the opposing goal when the Los Angeles Kings play the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Goalie Martin Jones is expected to start for Sharks in his first game against his former team since he was traded by the Kings this summer. Jones had served as the backup to Kings goalie Jonathan Quick the previous two seasons.

"He comes from a good program," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of Jones. "He comes from playing with a great goalie and that can only benefit the long picture. He's also a good player. Good for him. You want every player you've coached or been associated with to play at the highest level they can. Good for [Jones]."

The Kings will be shorthanded because left wing Dwight King is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and defenseman Matt Greene is not expected to play because of an upper-body injury. Defenseman Jeff Schultz is expected to be paired with Christian Ehrhoff, who will make his Kings debut.

"I'm excited to get it going," Ehrhoff said. "Preseason seems to drags on and you're just anxious to get going. I think everyone is excited."

Left wing Milan Lucic also will make his Kings debut, likely at left wing on the top line with center Anze Kopitar and right wing Marian Gaborik. The Kings acquired Lucic from the Boston Bruins on June 26 for Jones, defenseman Collin Miller and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Four days later the Bruins traded Jones to the Sharks for a prospect and a first-round pick in the 2016 draft.

Kings captain Dustin Brown said it's not integrating the new players so much as beginning a new chapter after Los Angeles missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season.

"As a hockey player, not playing for as long as we haven't played, you want to play games," Brown said. "There are some new faces in here, but at the same time a lot of these guys I've played with for years. So that goes a long way to helping those new guys fit in."

When asked how long it takes to acclimate the new players, Sutter said, "Eight hours."

Peter DeBoer will make his debut as Sharks coach, and Joe Pavelski will play his first game as captain. Defenseman Paul Martin and right wing Joel Ward also will play their first regular-season games with the Sharks.

The Sharks have won five straight season openers, the longest active streak in the NHL. They spoiled the Kings’ banner-raising opener last season with a 4-0 win.

Here are the projected lineups:


Joonas Donskoi - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Joel Ward

Matt Nieto - Tomas Hertl - Tommy Wingels

Barclay Goodrow - Chris Tierney - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Ben Smith

Suspended: Raffi Torres

Injured: None


Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Marian Gaborik

Tanner Pearson - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown - Nick Shore - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Jordan Nolan

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Jeff Schultz - Christian Ehrhoff

Brayden McNabb - Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Derek Forbort, Jordan Weal

Injured: Dwight King (lower body), Matt Greene (upper body)

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