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Preview/Lines #32: Nieto on Getting ‘Rocked’ by Dahlin, Could Be Back Sunday



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

LOS ANGELES – Matt Nieto was back at practice on Friday.

It was his first time since he suffered a lower-body injury from a Rasmus Dahlin hit during the San Jose Sharks’ 6-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Dec. 4.

“I got rocked. Plain and simple,” Nieto admitted. “The hit itself was clean. I kind of lost the puck there and put my head down for a split-second.”

For the veteran winger, the timing of the injury was unfortunate. Up to that point, he had five goals and two assists in his last 11 games and seemed to have found a role on the Sharks’ second line, next to Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov.

In Nieto’s place, Nick Bonino is working on a four-game goalscoring streak, so there’s no guarantee that Nieto will have the same job when he returns to the line-up.

Nieto is just happy to be close to game action again. He won’t be available tonight against the Los Angeles Kings but is a possibility versus the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

“It was just such a heavy collision, the impact of it was what injured me. Just kind of contact in a weird spot,” he shared. “But yeah, it could have been a lot worse for how big of a hit it was. So I’m just fortunate.”

San Jose Sharks (10-16-5)

Luke Kunin is out for this weekend after suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday. Alexander Barabanov, however, is back in the line-up. James Reimer gets the start.

Here’s how lines should look:




Los Angeles Kings (16-12-5)

For all your Los Angeles Kings coverage, check out LA Hockey Now!

Where to Watch

The San Jose Sharks will take on the Los Angeles Kings at 7:30 PM PST at Arena. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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