The San Jose Sharks have a prime opportunity to get back in the win column on Thursday as they kick off a back-to-back in Southern California against the LA Kings.
The Sharks will be without captain Joe Pavelski for a second straight game as he recovers from a lower-body injury. The 34-year-old forward has practiced the last two days, but the team wants to take a cautious approach with his return so he will be healthy when playoffs start.
Center Logan Couture is battling flue-like symptoms, and will also miss the game.
Logan Couture is out of tonight's game with flu-like symptoms.— San Jose Sharks PR (@SanJoseSharksPR) March 22, 2019
San Jose clinched a playoff berth earlier this week and remains in second place in the Western Conference standings, three points behind the Calgary Flames.
The Kings, on the other hand, are 20 points out of a wild card spot and occupy the Western Conference basement. They have also dropped their last three contests.
Thursday marks the fourth time this season the Sharks and Kings will play each other, with the Sharks leading the season series 2-0-1 so far. In 153 total contests against Los Angeles, San Jose holds an 80-56-7-10 record.
In other injury news, Erik Karlsson reportedly accompanied the Sharks on their two-game road trip to SoCal as he continues to rebound from his most recent injury. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told the media on Wednesday, however, that Karlsson won't pencil into the lineup during the roadie.
Sharks projected lines and pairs
Timo Meier – Tomas Hertl – Gustav Nyquist
Lukas Radil – Evander Kane – Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen – Joe Thornton – Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley – Barclay Goodrow – Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Tim Heed
Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Martin Jones – projected starter
Kings projected lines and pairs
Alex Iafallo – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Carl Grundstrom – Adrian Kempe – Tyler Toffoli
Brendan Leipsic – Jeff Carter – Trevor Lewis
Austin Wagner – Kyle Clifford – Kurtis MacDermid
Derek Forbort – Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez – Matt Roy
Sean Walker – Paul LaDue
Jonathan Quick – projected starter