Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will be making a change in goal as they attempt once again to finish off the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference quarterfinals, with rookie Alex Stalock replacing Antti Niemi between the pipes for Monday's Game 6 matchup.
The move comes after Niemi was rocked for eight goals over a combined three periods in the series' last two games, both Los Angeles wins. Stalock relieved Niemi in each of those contests and stopped all 26 shots he faced.
San Jose has been outscored by a 9-3 margin over the last two meetings after winning the first three games of the series.
The start will be the first in the postseason for Stalock, who produced a solid 1.87 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in 24 games (18 starts) as Niemi's primary backup during the regular season.
San Jose head coach Todd McLellan also announced Monday that defenseman Marc- Edouard Vlasic will be unavailable for Game 6 due to an upper-body injury he sustained in Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Kings.
Vlasic, one of the Sharks' top blueliners, was struck in the head by the Kings' Jarret Stoll during the first period of Game 5. Stoll received a roughing penalty on the play, while Vlasic did not return to the game.