The San Jose Sharks may have clinched a playoff spot, but there are further goals to accomplish: goals such as holding off the Ducks in their division, or winning the Presidents Trophy, or raising Lord Stanley’s Cup.
In order to do so, they must take things one step at a time and take advantage of home games against inferior opponents, such as a matchup against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
The Jets, well out of a playoff spot and losers of three of their last four, would like nothing more than to play the role of spoiler. The Sharks stand just two points ahead of the Ducks in the Pacific Division, and the Ducks have two games in hand to boot.
San Jose, which is coming off a convincing 5-2 win in Edmonton on Tuesday, is in a stretch where it plays four games in six nights. The Sharks will look to take the season series against the Jets, who defeated the Sharks 5-4 back in November in a shootout. The Sharks defeated the Jets 1-0 at home in January.
Tale of the Tape
- Goals for per game: 2.93 (7th)
- Goals against per game: 2.30 (4th)
- Shots per game: 34.9 (1st)
- Shots against per game: 27.7 (5th)
- Penalty minutes: 668 (5th)
- Power play percentage: 16.8% (19th)
- Penalty kill percentage: 85.1% (5th)
- Goals for per game: 2.68 (17th)
- Goals against per game: 2.84 (21st)
- Shots per game: 30.9 (10th)
- Shots against per game: 30.3 (17th)
- Penalty minutes: 913 (24th)
- Power play percentage: 14.9% (26th)
- Penalty kill percentage: 84.1% (8th)
Sharks: Joe Pavelski (37 G, 34 A), Joe Thornton (11 G, 60 A), Patrick Marleau (31 G, 33 A)
Jets: Blake Wheeler (24 G, 35 A), Bryan Little (22 G, 35 A), Dustin Byfuglien (19 G, 33 A)
Sharks: Tomas Hertl (knee) is on IR. Adam Burish (hand) is out. Raffi Torres (soreness) and Logan Couture (lower body) did not play on Tuesday.
Jets: Chris Thorburn (ankle), Mark Scheifele (knee), Ondrej Pavelec (lower body) and James Wright (ankle) are out.
SAN JOSE (47-18-9)
Opening Face-off: 7:30 PM PST
Location: SAP Center, San Jose, CA