Jan 16, 2014; Sunrise, FL, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock (32) and defenseman Brad Stuart (7) stop a shot as Florida Panthers right wing Scottie Upshall (19) looks on in the third period at BB&T Center. The Sharks won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Sharks Look to Capitalize on Struggling Panthers: Game Preview

Fresh off a three-game road trip where they went undefeated, the San Jose Sharks return home brimming with confidence, having won six in a row overall and tied with the Ducks atop the Pacific Division.

The Sharks and Ducks square off on Thursday in a marquee matchup, but the Sharks should not look ahead too much because they play the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. While the Panthers are struggling, losing four of their last five, the Sharks cannot afford to lose focus and fall to an inferior opponent on home ice.

San Jose is coming off a 1-0 win over the Rangers in Madison Square Garden. Antti Niemi made 41 saves in a spectacular performance, while Logan Couture scored the game’s only goal on a shorthanded breakaway. If the Sharks can get that type of performance out of Niemi on a consistent basis, they are very hard to beat.

The Sharks defeated the Panthers 3-0 in Florida back on Jan. 31 behind Alex Stalock’s shutout. Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Matt Nieto scored the goals for San Jose.

Tale of the Tape

Sharks

  • Goals for per game: 2.96 (7th)
  • Goals against per game: 2.32 (4th)
  • Shots per game: 34.7 (1st)
  • Shots against per game: 28.0 (5th)
  • Penalty minutes: 644 (6th)
  • Power play percentage: 15.9% (23rd)
  • Penalty kill percentage: 84.7% (6th)

Panthers:

  • Goals for per game: 2.38 (25th)
  • Goals against per game: 3.16 (27th)
  • Shots per game: 29.7 (18th)
  • Shots against per game: 30.8 (9th)
  • Penalty minutes: 689 (7th)
  • Power play percentage: 10.7% (30th) 
  • Penalty kill percentage: 75.1% (30th) 

Top Performers

Sharks: Joe Pavelski (34 G, 32 A), Joe Thornton (10 G, 55 A), Patrick Marleau (28 G, 32 A)

Rangers: Scottie Upshall (13 G, 20 A), Brad Boyes (18 G, 14 A), Brian Campbell (7 G, 25 A)

Injury Report

Panthers forwards Tomas Kopecky (concussion), Aleksander Barkov (knee) and defenseman Alex Petrovic (upper body) are on injured reserve. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson (knee) and forward Jesse Winchester(lower body) are out indefinitely. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body) left the game Sunday and forward Sean Bergenheim (lower body) did not play Sunday. … Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (knee) and defenseman Brad Stuart(upper body) are on IR. Forward Raffi Torres (soreness) did not play Sunday.

Probable Lines

SAN JOSE (45-17-7)

Forwards

Couture-Thornton-Burns

Marleau-Pavelski-Nieto

Sheppard-Wingels-Havlat

Kennedy-Desjardins-Burish

Defensemen

Vlasic-Demers

Hannan-Boyle

Irwin-Braun

Goalies

Niemi

Stalock

FLORIDA (25-35-8)

Forwards

Upshall-Bjugstad-Boyes

Fleischmann-Trocheck-Huberdeau

Crabb-Pirri-Howden

Barch-Gomez-Hayes

Defensemen

Campbell-Gilbert

Kulikov-Robak

Jovanovski-Olesen

Goalies

Luongo

Ellis

Game Info

Opening face-off: 7:30 PM PST

Location: SAP Center, San Jose, CA

TV: LOCAL

Tags: San Jose Sharks

comments powered by Disqus