San Jose Sharks Look To Sweep Canadian Portion Of Trip


The San Jose Sharks have one final stop on the Canadian portion of their current five-game road trip as they travel to the capital city to take on the Ottawa Senators. The Sharks have righted the ship a little bit as they’ve recorded victories over the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in recent days.

San Jose will have their hands full in this one as they take on a potent Senators team with plenty of firepower. Currently, Ottawa has six players who have registered more than 20 points for the year so the Sharks defense will have to be on top of their game.

Ottawa sits in fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings with 37 points, just one point out of second place. They’ve dropped three of their past four games, scoring only one goal on all three occasions. For all their offensive exploits, the Senators aren’t as sound in their own end, ranking 23rd on the penalty kill with a 78.3 percent success rate and rank 24th in goals against per game at 2.88.

Expect another high-scoring, end-to-end affair in this one as these two offensively-minded teams go at one another.

Players to Watch

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Sharks: Brent Burns. This matchup features two of the best offensive defensemen in the game with Burns and Karlsson.  Burns is tied for third in the league with 26 points by a defensemen, and he scored the game-winner last night in Toronto to go along with two assists. While Burns still needs much work on his defensive game (-13 for the year), he has been a plus-two thus far on the road trip.

Senators: Erik Karlsson. The two-time Norris award winner, Karlsson is the gold-standard of generating offense from the back end as he leads all defensemen and is tied for fourth amongst all players with 35 points (seven goals, 28 assists). In fact, for the past two seasons, Karlsson has led the NHL in scoring by defensemen. The Sharks should expect to see plenty of Karlsson tonight as he leads the Senators with 27:38 of ice time.

Keys to the Game

1. Limit Turnovers

San Jose was sloppy defensively last night, constantly turning the puck over and running around in their zone. Tonight, the Sharks need to be much cleaner and sharper with the puck as they face a much more talented offensive team as the Senators rank fourth in scoring at 2.97 goals per game. If they don’t improve, San Jose can expect to give up another four goals.

2. Strong Goaltending

Alex Stalock will be between the pipes for the Sharks and he will need to be on his toes from the get-go. Coming off last night’s game, San Jose could be sluggish out of the gates. It’s been a rough go for Stalock this season with a 2-4-0 record and a 2.95 GAA and an .891 save percentage. With the Sharks struggling at times defensively, Stalock needs to be the eraser for any mistakes that may occur in this one.

3. Keep Rolling Along

San Jose has been a streaky team all season long, but their best periods have come away from home. The Sharks lead the league with 12 wins on the road and they’ve won the first two games on this trip. The Sharks will want to keep the momentum going especially with stops against the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings still awaiting them on this trek.

Next: Burns OT Winner Lifts Sharks Past Maple Leafs


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