SAN JOSE — It's only the exhibition season, but the Sharks are already getting a taste of how lineups can change at a moment's notice.

Patrick Marleau, for example, missed the morning skate and might not play Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks as he deals with what coach Todd McLellan described as a family matter. And that means Anthony Stewart — in camp as a pro tryout without a contract — could find himself on a top line with Logan Couture and Tyler Kennedy.

"I'm just waiting in the wings to find out if I am playing," said Stewart, 28, who last played in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricane in 2011-12. "I've been around long enough to be ready just in case — take my nap, eat my chicken and pasta."

San Jose will start goalie Antti Niemi against the Ducks, and San Jose's other top line of Joe Thornton, Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl is expected to play.

"There'll be a mish-mash," McLellan said of his lineup. "We're trying people out in different areas. There's a mixture of different people playing in different roles. That's what pre-season is for."

For example, he said Raffi Torres would play, but in a newly formed combination alongside Bracken Kearns and prospect Eriah Hayes.

The game will be Kennedy's first for the Sharks since he was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins on draft day in June.

"I need to get one under my belt, so it's exciting to get in your first game with the guys," Kennedy said. "I'll try to get the jitters out and some of the mistakes out rather than in the season."


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McLellan said that so far, Kennedy has "come as advertised — quick, a lot of energy, shoots the puck a lot. Bright, very coachable — he picks things up real quick so that's a positive."