NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, October 12th (All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (2-0-0) at Los Angeles Kings (0-1-0), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Kings' Anze Kopitar failed to celebrate his new contract in last night's loss to the Sharks. He will get another chance tonight, as Los Angeles and San Jose wrap a home-and-home set at the Staples Center.
Prior to yesterday's 3-1 loss to the Sharks, the 21-year-old Kopitar inked a seven-year contract extension that will keep him with the Kings through the 2015-16 season. It was the second longest extension given in club history, behind only the eight-year deal the franchise gave Wayne Gretzky in 1988.
Kopitar, though, managed just a shot and no points in Saturday's loss. Still, he netted 32 goals to go along with 45 assists in 82 games a year ago, and has seven goals and seven assists in 17 career tests versus the Sharks.
Alexander Frolov had the lone goal for the Kings and Jason LaBarbera made 38 saves in the loss, which came in Terry Murray's coaching debut.
The back end of this home-and-home set starts a four-game homestand for Los Angeles, which went 17-21-3 as the host last year.
The Sharks improved to 2-0-0 on the season with Saturday's win, having yet to lose under first-year head coach Todd McLellan. Tomas Plihal's short-handed goal gave San Jose the lead late in the second period and Joe Pavelski added another marker in the third frame.
Devin Setoguchi also scored for the Sharks, who got 12 saves from Evgeni Nabokov.
Rob Blake, who has spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings, had five shots against his former team. He was signed by the Sharks in the offseason and will make his return to Los Angeles tonight.
Blake was drafted by the Kings in the fourth round of the 1988 draft and played with the club from the 1989-90 season until getting traded to Colorado during the 2000-01 season. After four-plus seasons with the Avalanche, he returned to the Kings for the previous two campaigns.
Joe Thornton, Dan Boyle and Jonathan Cheechoo each had an assist in the win. Thornton now has 40 points (9 goals, 31 assists) in 33 career games versus Los Angeles. That includes four goals and six assists in eight games against them last year.
The Sharks have won four of their last five versus the Kings and have posted a victory in five of the last six games played in the series at the Staples Center.
10/12 10:27:26 ET