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San Jose Sharks vs. Adler Mannheim

by Dave Lozo
When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m., ET)

Where: SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany

Who is Adler Mannheim: A member of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). Currently sits in second place in the league after 10 games this season. They are called "Die Adler" which means "the Eagles." They feature former NHL goaltender Fred Brathwaite, who played 254 NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets between 1993 and 2004. He was named MVP of the DEL in 2008-09 and he leads the league in goals-against average and save percentage this season. He's scheduled to play the first 30 minutes of tonight's game before giving way to Lukas Lang.

What to expect from San Jose: Coach Todd McLellan said Antti Niemi will get the start in net and the plan is to use him for the entire game. McLellan said Friday he may use Antero Niittymaki in goal as well, but that doesn't seem likely now. This particular game allows for the Sharks to dress an extra player, so McLellan will use seven defensemen for the contest. The game will be played on Olympic-size ice, but with NHL rules, except for one change: there is no trapezoid behind the goals, so goaltenders will be allowed to play the puck anywhere they want.

Bottom line
: The game will be played in front of a packed house of 13,600 fans. It clearly means more for Adler Mannheim, but it's just an exhibition for them as well, as evidenced by the fact they are splitting up the goaltending duties. As long as the Sharks have adjusted to the time difference, they shouldn't have much trouble tonight.
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