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Enroth to make Kings debut in net against Sharks

by Eric Gilmore

KINGS (2-3-0) at SHARKS (4-2-0)


SAN JOSE -- Backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth will make his first start for the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

"It's special because it's the first game for me here," Enroth said after the Kings' morning skate. "So I'm excited for that. I feel like it's about time. It's been a while since I've played a game obviously, but I've been feeling pretty good throughout practice and stuff like that. I feel ready to go."

Jonathan Quick started the first five games for the Kings, who will play the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday at Staples Center to complete their first back-to-back set of the season.

Martin Jones, who defeated his former team 5-1 in the season opener Oct. 7, will again start in goal for the Sharks.

Enroth signed with the Kings on July 1 as a free agent. He has appeared in 131 NHL games with 115 starts, 106 for the Buffalo Sabres, who chose him in the second round (No. 46) of the 2006 NHL Draft. Last year he won a career-high 18 games, 13 with Buffalo and five with the Dallas Stars. He has a 43-61-14 record with a 2.88 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and five shutouts.

"He's worked very hard," Kings defenseman Alec Martinez said. "He played really well for us in the preseason. He's a professional, he's prepared himself. I think it's important to come to a new team and a new set of 'D' to just make sure that we're communicating a lot, especially on the exchanges in the 'D'-zone. He's been great. He's been really good for us. He's a pro."

The Sharks have lost two straight games and will be without two key players, center Logan Couture (broken leg) and defenseman Paul Martin (lower body), as well as rookie wing Joonas Donskoi (lower body). Couture and Donskoi will miss their fourth straight games. Martin will miss his third straight.

Martin and Donskoi took part in the morning skate and are making progress in their recoveries.

Defenseman Mirco Mueller, who was called up Wednesday from San Jose's American Hockey League affiliate, the Barracuda, will make his Sharks season debut. He appeared in 39 NHL games last season as a rookie and had one goal and three assists.

"I'm excited for sure," Mueller said. "Haven't played an NHL game for a long time. And against the Kings, too. I think it's going to be a good crowd, intense atmosphere, so I'm excited for that."

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer wants Mueller, a first-round pick (No. 18) in 2013, to take better advantage of his skating skills.

"I think I've tried getting into the rush when I was down in the AHL," Mueller said. "I was trying to be there if I can. Other than that he just wants me to play aggressive around the net and move pucks."

After losing their first three games, the Kings have won two straight. Now they have a chance to avenge their loss to San Jose.

"We obviously want to change things around," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We want to be that winning team tonight. We weren't happy with our performance. We played very, very poorly in that first game. They played a good game. They definitely deserved that win. Now it's our turn to come into their building and steal a win back."

Here are the projected lineups:


Marian Gaborik - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Milan Lucic - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson - Nick Shore - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Jordan Nolan

Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort - Christian Ehrhoff

Jhonas Enroth

Jonathan Quick

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

Scratched: Jordan Weal


Matt Nieto - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Tomas Hertl - Joel Ward

Barclay Goodrow - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels

Micheal Haley - Bryan Lerg - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns

Mirco Mueller - Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones

Alex Stalock

Injured: Paul Martin (lower body), Ben Smith (head), Joonas Donskoi (lower body)

Scratched: None

Status report: Lerg was recalled Thursday from the Barracuda, one day after he was sent down, because Donskoi isn't healthy enough to play. Haley, who was called up from the Barracuda on Wednesday, will make his season debut. Nieto will open on the top line with Thornton and Pavelski for the first time this season. … King will miss his sixth straight game, while Greene will miss his third straight.

Who's hot: Marleau leads the Sharks with three goals. Thornton has a team-high five points, including two goals. … Toffoli has scored a goal in back-to-back games, including the game-winner Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche. He leads the Kings with three goals.

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