Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 33 vs. San Jose, December 22, 2015, 7:30pm PST
It seems like it’s been forever but the Los Angeles Kings are back home, and what better way to enter the Christmas break than a win against the despised San Jose Sharks? The Sharks (16-15-2) are eight points behind the Kings for first in the Pacific and would love to close the gap on Tuesday when they pay a visit to STAPLES Center for the second and final time this regular season.
Tuesday marks the third of five meetings between the Kings and Sharks with the road team winning both meetings. Naturally, the silver-and-black will look to put a stop to that pattern, especially so since they are coming off an embarrassing 5-0 drubbing against the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.
While they may be just one game over .500 thus far, the Sharks have been most dominant away from the SAP Center, sporting a 12-6-2 road record entering Tuesday’s matchup. The game marks the end of a four-game road swing for the boys in teal as they look to bounce back from an overtime loss in Chicago on Sunday.
As for the Kings, this will be their final home game of 2015 so they will be looking to make it count. Their last meeting against San Jose at STAPLES Center came back on Oct. 7 but it was a lackluster 5-1 defeat as Joe Pavelski scored a goal and added two assists for the Sharks. The Kings did get their revenge in San Jose on Oct. 22 when Jhonas Enroth backed them to a 4-1 win. Jeff Carter also helped out with two goals and two assists.
This time, however, Jonathan Quick will be back in goal and Enroth allowed all five goals on 34 shots on Saturday. On the other end, expect ex-King Martin Jones to get the call for San Jose. Jones shut the Kings down on Oct. 7 with 19 saves but on Oct. 22, despite making 25 saves, allowed four goals en route to his team’s defeat.
There is never any love lost between these state rivals and while it is the holiday season, do not expect the Kings and Sharks to exchange tidings of comfort and joy.
Enjoy the game!