SAN JOSE -- Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart said his body feels as healthy right now at this stage of the season as it has "in a long time" as he geared up for Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series on Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings.
Stuart dealt with a lower body injury through the summer and was not able to do much skating once training camp began in September. He then suffered an upper body injury Feb. 7 against Columbus, the Sharks' last game before the Olympic break began, which kept him out of the lineup for 13 games after the break ended.
Stuart returned March 24 against Calgary and played the final 10 regular season games, and said the almost six-week break helped heal his body and allowed him to work on his conditioning and fitness levels.
"I was injured through the break and after the break. I was still able to train and work on my lower body which I wasn't able to do in the summer," Stuart said Sunday. "It helped a lot. I was able to skate the whole time. I'm as healthy at this point of the year as I have been in a long time."
Stuart and defensive partner Justin Braun were matched up plenty against the Kings' line of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Dwight King in Game 2, and there was no reason to expect that to change in Game 2. The key for all of the Sharks' defensive pairings will be to see how they are able to adjust for the third game in Los Angeles on Tuesday when the Kings have the last change and the matchups may be less favorable.
Stuart was a plus-2 after the first game.
"I mean it's important as an individual to have an objective, and if you know you're playing a certain player or a certain line, you can prepare for that," Stuart said. "But you also have to be prepared to go on the road and not get that."