RALEIGH, N.C. — Back-up netminder Alex Stalock will get his fourth start of the season Friday night when the Sharks play the Carolina Hurricanes, trying to rebound from a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Stalock played the final 20 minutes Thursday night after Antti Niemi gave up four goals by 7:30 of the second period, and coach Todd McLellan said he chose not to pull Niemi at that point because Stalock was scheduled to play in Carolina.

"We talked about it on the bench," McLellan said. "With Alex scheduled to start today, how much was too much? How much wasn't enough? We wanted to get through the period and then give him a period to feel good about coming into tonight's game."

San Jose Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock (32) keeps an eye on the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on
San Jose Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock (32) keeps an eye on the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, February 1, 2011. (Nhat V. Meyer/ Mercury News)

Stalock gave up one goal in Pittsburgh, facing only three shots.

In his first season as back-up, Stalock has put up solid statistics in going 3-0 with a 1.55 goals against average and a .944 save percentage.

McLellan also said Mike Brown would miss a second game "based on where he is health-wise."

The Sharks would have preferred to play Brown in Pittsburgh as well as here, but weren't sure he was healthy enough to be able to finish the game.

"He's in between injured and healthy, if that makes any sense, and when you play back to back games and you play against a speedy team like Pittsburgh or like Carolina, with our schedule you have to make sure you have guys that can finish," McLellan said. "We'll give him a day to heal up and we'll go from there."

McLellan liked the idea of a back-to-back game right after his team's poor performance against the Penguins.

"We weren't very good last night. That was real evident," the coach said. "We just didn't compete, we didn't play as a team, we didn't do the things we normally have done and didn't live up to the standards we've created for ourselves, so we'd like to get back at it tonight."

For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him at twitter.com/@PollakOnSharks.