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Antti Niemi to start in goal, Raffi Torres returns from injury for Sharks in opener vs. Kings

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Antti Niemi will start in goal for the San Jose Sharks in the opener of their first-round playoff series against Los Angeles.

Coach Todd McLellan said before Thursday night's game that he is sticking with Niemi over rookie Alex Stalock despite Niemi's late-season struggles. Niemi has started all 34 playoff games since joining the Sharks in the 2010-11 season.

Also, forward Raffi Torres is back after the missing the final 17 games of the regular season with an injury. Torres played just five games all year after tearing a knee ligament in the preseason.

Rookie Tomas Hertl will make his playoff debut. Hertl missed 45 games after an illegal knee-on-knee hit from Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown on Dec. 19 but returned for the final two games of the season.

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