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Kings, Sharks to play outdoor game in California in 2015

(Reuters) - Outdoor hockey is returning to California for a second straight season as the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will play the San Jose Sharks at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, the NHL said on Wednesday.

The Sharks will be the home team for the Feb. 21 game at the new home of the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers and site of the Super Bowl in 2016.

"The growing excitement around NHL hockey in California, 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 a statement.

Including playoffs, the Sharks and Kings have met 41 times since the start of the 2010-11 season, the most of any two NHL clubs in that span. Most recently the Kings rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the Sharks in Game Seven of the first round of the 2014 playoffs.

The Sharks will be competing in their first outdoor game while the Kings will be playing their second, having lost 3-0 to the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium in late January.

The temperature at the start of last season's game at Dodger Stadium was 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius), making it the warmest NHL regular-season game played, according to the NHL.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating)

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