SHARKS (43-22-8) at KINGS (25-39-8)
10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSCA, NHL.TV
The San Jose Sharks could move within one point of the lead in the Pacific Division and Western Conference with a win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.
The Sharks trail the first-place Calgary Flames by three points with nine games remaining for each team. The Flames play the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
San Jose has lost three straight games in regulation. The Sharks have not lost four in a row in regulation this season; they did go 0-3-1 from Nov. 24-Dec. 1, their longest losing streak of the season.
The Kings are 1-6-0 in their past seven games and have been eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Players to watch
Sharks forward Joe Thornton has goals in consecutive games. He had scored once in his previous 11 games.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has eight assists in his past nine games.
They said it
"I think at this time of the year it doesn't matter where teams are in the standings when it comes to an L.A.-San Jose game. You're going to have a hard-nosed, man's game." -- Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon
"I don't know how many times I've played that core group of San Jose. It's probably been 12 years now. There's a lot of history." -- Kings forward Dustin Brown
Sharks projected lineup
Timo Meier -- Logan Couture -- Gustav Nyquist
Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley -- Barclay Goodrow -- Melker Karlsson
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Tim Heed
Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun
Scratched: Jacob Middleton, Lukas Radil
Injured: Joe Pavelski (lower body), Erik Karlsson (groin), Radim Simek (knee)
Kings projected lineup
Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown
Carl Grundstrom -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli
Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford -- Austin Wagner
Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez -- Matt Roy
Sean Walker -- Kurtis MacDermid
Scratched: Dion Phaneuf, Ilya Kovalchuk, Jonny Brodzinski
Pavelski skated during an optional practice Thursday but did not take contact. … Toffoli will play after missing practice Wednesday because of illness. … The Kings will use 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
The Sharks have allowed at least four goals in each of their past four games and been outscored 19-12 in that span while going 1-3-0. … Ryan will play in his 100th NHL game. … Brown has scored a power-play goal in consecutive games, and has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in his past 12 games.