The Sharks will start Alex Stalock in goal Friday night against the Phoenix Coyotes, but coach Todd McLellan is prepared to abandon his plan of letting each netminder play the full 60 minutes.
Stalock is currently competing with Harri Sateri for the role of Antti Niemi's back-up, and Sateri is likely to see action in the exhibition game as well.
"My preference is to play guys the full night, but tonight may be a night when we do have to split them and give them equal opportunity," McLellan said, adding that Niemi will get the start Saturday night in the exhibition finale in Anaheim.
McLellan also said he won't be using the lineup likely to open the regular season on Oct. 3 in either of the final exhibition games. For example, the Joe Thornton line with Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl is expected to play against Phoenix, but not the line of Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Tyler Kennedy.
But the two leading candidates to take the injured Raffi Torres's spot in the lineup — rookies Matt Nieto and Freddie Hamilton — will both face Phoenix. Another injured forward, Adam Burish, has yet to resume skating, so it's possible both prospects could make the team.