SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Todd McLellan is carrying out his plan to rest netminder Antti Niemi more frequently at this point in the season by giving Thursday night's start against the Winnipeg Jets to backup Alex Stalock.
It will be only the second start at SAP Center this season for Stalock, who earned his first NHL shutout in a week ago when San Jose beat the Florida Panthers, 3-0. So is he still getting adjusted to his home rink?
"Maybe a little bit," Stalock said, "but I've been watching for so many games in this rink. You know how the crowd is when they get behind you."
Both teams are on four-game winning streaks, Winnipeg's starting with a coach change that saw Paul Maurice replace Claude Noel. The Jets became the first team to win in regulation this season at the Honda Center when they beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Tuesday night.
The one other lineup change McLellan appears to be making has right wing Mike Brown returning to the lineup after missing the past three games. Brown, who hasn't played since he and Washington Capitals forward Aaron Volpatti traded punches in a bloody fight on Jan. 14, disclosed he had been bothered by a stiff neck since then.
"Didn't want to go out there and not do anything," Brown said. "When I go out there, I've got to play the way I play and that's a hard-nosed, physical game. If something's bothering me like that, I'm not going to contribute the way I can."
It appeared that Brown was taking James Sheppard's spot in the lineup.