San Jose Sharks Seek Second Straight Win In Philly


Mar 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; San Jose Sharks teammates celebrate after winning the game 6-4 against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks have reached the home stretch of their seven-game road trip as they roll into the Keystone State for back-to-back games this weekend. First up, a matinee matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers, who are struggling mightily in the month of March.

Currently, the Flyers are going through a similar stretch that the Sharks went through during February. Through 12 games in March, Philadelphia boasts a meager 3-5-4 record, although they snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last time out. Meanwhile, San Jose has endured their fair share of struggles after posting a 3-9-1 record during February and the Sharks are 2-3-0 on their current road trip.

It should be a fascinating matchup between two teams that have under-performed this year.

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Players to Watch

San Jose: Alex Stalock. It’s been a drastically different season for Stalock who surprised a lot of people last year. In 24 appearances (18 starts) during the 2013-14 season, Stalock posted a 12-5-2 record with a 1.87 GAA and a .932 save percentage. However, his numbers have dipped this year with a 6-7-1 record in 18 appearances (14 starts) and a 2.65 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Stalock is coming off a 4-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens in his last start on March 2, but it’s been 10 games since he’s started between the pipes for the Sharks.

Philadelphia: Jakub Voracek. Voracek has had a breakout campaign for the Flyers and has teamed up with Claude Giroux to form a potent one-two punch. Voracek leads Philadelphia with 53 assists, 74 points and a plus-seven rating. Voracek has already exceeded his previous career high of 62 points by 12 points and there is still eight games remaining. It’s been an amazing season for Voracek who is tied for second in the NHL in points with John Tavares.

Quick Take

It’s an interesting matchup because either fan base probably doesn’t want their respective team to win the game. Both teams are going to miss the playoffs so a meaningless win would drop their position in the upcoming draft and lower their lottery odds.

From a Sharks perspective, this team doesn’t need to mess around with losing on purpose or whatever. Throughout this season, San Jose has found plenty of ways to lose games on their own. At this point, the Sharks need to focus on developing their younger players and finding out who is going to be around next year.

One area of concern for San Jose is on defense, which will be without the services of Mirco Mueller based on a report from Kevin Kurz. The Sharks have surrendered 23 goals in the past six games and are 24th in the league in goals against. Meanwhile, the Flyers sit one slot above the Sharks (23rd) in goals against so it should be a high-scoring affair in Philly.

Let’s see if San Jose can close the road-trip on a positive note against a potentially lethal Philadelphia team.

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