The San Jose Sharks conclude their short two game homestand, and continue their pre All-Star Canadian series as they host the Ottawa Senators on BlackArmor Night at the Shark Tank.
Ottawa has become the hottest team in the Eastern Conference going 8-1-1 in their last ten games to surprisingly leap up to the 5th spot out East. San Jose continues to pick up points and still leads the Pacific with games in hand on everyone in the Western Conference.
Ryane Clowe is expected to be out with what has been reported as a facial fracture and while he played in Columbus and Winnipeg with a face shield, he tried playing without one against Chicago. Fortunately, he has no concussion like symptoms and has no blurry vision but the cage was a nuisance to his game play. He will be out until after the All-Star break. Returning to the ice might be Andrew Desjardins after dealing with symptoms after a head shot in the Columbus game last week. Related to the injury front, Sharks goalie prospect (and one game urban legend) Alex Stalock was sent to the ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder for a conditioning assignment. He will be with the team at least through the weekend, with Stalock rumored to be getting the start in net Saturday against Las Vegas.
In this recent run of games, the once pitiful penalty kill has fixed itself up. San Jose has not allowed a power play goal in their last five games. It’s a critical part of the game and in the playoffs it will be magnified. One of those players who will attempt to end the Sharks PK streak will be former Shark and 2012 NHL All-Star, Milan Michalek. The forward has 23 goals and is in the top 10 in the NHL. While Michalek has had major success, some concern for Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton. Both after 43 games have 36 points, fewer than original Shark, Ray Whitney (39 points) entering today. Goaltending matchup should be a good one as Niemi will face one of NHL 3 stars of last week. Craig Anderson has played very well in Ottawa. Nemo, still carrying the workload is expected to start and picked up his 20th win on Tuesday.
Sharks and Senators at the Shark Tank tonight. If you are going, stop and say hi! I shall see you at the Tank!
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