Havlat returns for Sharks, Kings’ Pearson could make NHL debut for Game 3


Tonight’s Game 3 in San Jose could feature a couple of new faces to the series.

Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports forward Martin Havlat will return to the Sharks lineup after missing time with a lower body injury. Havlat last played in Game 1 of their series against Vancouver and saw just 3:16 of ice time before exiting the game. Coach Todd McLellan is banking on his experience to help them out in Game 3.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Kings will be putting yet another youngster on the spot as rookie Tanner Pearson will make his NHL debut on the fourth line tonight. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun says Pearson will join Brad Richardson and Colin Fraser on that line. Pearson was the Kings’ first-round draft pick in 2012, 30th overall.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji notes Pearson would be the 23rd player the Kings have used in the playoffs, one more than they used during their Stanley Cup run last season.

As LeBrun shares, Kings coach Darryl Sutter may be doing a bit of gamesmanship through this saying he could go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. If he goes with 12 forwards however, Pearson will play. Jordan Nolan would likely be swapped out in either case.