The Sharks will host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday in their first 1 p.m. game at HP Pavilion in nearly four years, and players' thoughts on the unusual start time are varied.

But even though an early afternoon game might mess with the players' routine, for Doug Bentz, the Sharks' director of marketing and digital media, it's something fans have requested for years.

"We hear from season ticket-holders that have young families that the games at 7:30 p.m. are sometimes a challenge," Bentz said Friday. "Afternoon games really give them a chance to come out during the day. You do see much more of a family atmosphere with the 1 p.m. games."

Saturday's tilt is the first of four Saturday 1 p.m. home games for the Sharks in this abbreviated 48-game season. The others are Feb. 9 vs. Phoenix, March 9 vs. St. Louis and April 7 vs. Dallas.