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Preview: Sharks at Kings

San Jose likely missing Marc-Edouard Vlasic as it goes for fifth straight win; Kings looking for more offense in return to Staples Center

by Abbey Mastracco / NHL.com Correspondent

SHARKS (23-12-1) at KINGS (17-15-4)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, CSN-CA, NHL.TV

 

Sharks team scope

The San Jose Sharks are going for their fifth straight victory. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 on Friday. Patrick Marleau and Justin Braun scored, and Aaron Dell made 21 saves for his first NHL shutout. However, defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was hit in the face by a slap shot and his status for Saturday is uncertain. Coach Peter DeBoer said Friday that Vlasic would be unlikely to make the trip to Los Angeles. "As bad as it looked and as bad as it probably is, I've got my fingers crossed," DeBoer said. "The initial reports are that I don't believe it's that serious, so that's good." The Sharks did not have a morning skate Saturday. 

 

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings return home after playing nine straight on the road. They averaged 2.0 goals per game on the trip and lost the final three games (0-2-1). "We've been too inconsistent, and that's been our biggest problem," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "I don't know that we're not generating offense, we're just not scoring on our chances. It's not that we haven't gotten shots or good looks at the net. It's that when we get those looks we have to score." Coach Darryl Sutter had a different take. He said he wanted to see more defensive execution. "I'm more interested in cutting scoring chances down and not giving up easy goals-against," Sutter said. "Easy goals-against have hurt us since Christmas." 

 

Sharks projected lineup

Patrick Marleau -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Kevin Labanc -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Joonas Donskoi

Melker Karlsson -- Micheal Haley -- Joel Ward

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun

David Schlemko -- Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Tommy Wingels, Matt Nieto

Injured: Tomas Hertl (knee), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper body)

 

Kings projected lineup

Marian Gaborik -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Devin Setoguchi

Kyle Clifford -- Nic Dowd -- Trevor Lewis

Dwight King -- Nick Shore -- Jordan Nolan

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb -- Kevin Gravel

Peter Budaj

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Matt Greene, Tom Gilbert, Andy Andreoff

Injured: Tyler Toffoli (lower-body), Jonathan Quick (groin)

 

Status report

Jones had started the previous seven games before backing up Dell on Friday. … Budaj was the first goalie off the ice for the Kings. 

 

Who's hot

Pavelski has two goals and five assists during a five-game point streak. Thornton has eight assists in his past nine games. Burns has 14 points in the past 14 games. … Carter has five goals and an assist in the past five games. Shore has two goals in four games.

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