The rumors were true, and the San Jose Sharks will host one of the NHL’s Stadium Series games during the 2014-15 season.
The NHL announced Wednesday that the Sharks will host division rival and defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., the new home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. This marks the second consecutive season in which California has hosted an outdoor game. The Kings and Anaheim Ducks played at Dodger Stadium last season.
“The growing excitement around NHL hockey in California hockey, the intensity of last season’s playoff series between these teams and the state-of-the-art setting at Levi’s Stadium will bring a thrilling new dimension to the Kings-Sharks rivalry,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in the league’s formal announcement. “We thank the Sharks, the Kings, Coors Light, the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium and everyone involved in producing the next episode of our Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.”
The Kings and Sharks have developed into bitter rivals in recent years, as no two teams have faced off more since the start of the 2010-11 season. The two Pacific Division clubs met in the playoffs last season where the Kings erased a 3-0 series deficit to win the series on the way to capturing the Cup.
The NHL has yet to officially say how many Stadium Series games there will be next season. The Washington Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 1, 2015 in the annual Winter Classic game.