San Jose Sharks Face Big Test Next Two Games

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The San Jose Sharks are in the midst of another long road trip, as they have played three games in four nights on their five-game trip.

San Jose has done a nice job to this point, winning two of the first three, but it’s the next two contests that will really test the Sharks.

The Sharks will return to the States to take on two of the perennial powers in the Western Conference when they square off against the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings. Thus far, San Jose has gone 1-2-0 against Chicago and Los Angeles this season with the Sharks lone win coming over the Kings on opening night by a 5-1 final.

On the other two occasions, San Jose was outscored by the two powerhouses by a 9-3 margin.

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For the Sharks, the challenge is definitely a daunting one, but one that will provide a nice measuring stick for San Jose as they head into the Christmas break. As it stands right now, Chicago and the Los Angeles are tied for fourth in the league with 42 points apiece.

San Jose’s offensive attack will be tested on both occasions as Chicago and Los Angeles possess two of the better defensive teams in the league. The Kings lead the NHL in having only allowed 65 goals and just 2.10 goals per game. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks aren’t too far behind, tying for eighth in the league at allowing only 2.36 goals per game.

The Sharks will need their best players to show up big over the next two contests. Martin Jones will likely see both starts between the pipes and San Jose will want him to continue his road dominance where he’s racked up 11 wins away from SAP Center.

Brent Burns (two goals and three assists) and Joe Pavelski (two goals and four assists) have been really good on the current trip, and they will need two more big efforts from their catalysts if they want to secure four big points.

Tomorrow night, the Sharks will look to take advantage of a Blackhawks team that is playing in Buffalo today. San Jose will hope their day off today can re-energize themselves after suffering a tough third-period loss at the hands of the Senators last night.

Next: Third Period Dooms Sharks Against Senators

Wrapping up the trip is perhaps the biggest game of the entire five-game swing as they look to make a dent in the division lead of the Kings. Right now, the Sharks sit in second place in the Pacific but they are nine points behind Los Angeles.

San Jose will have one more opportunity before they get some time off for the holidays to make a statement to the Kings that they will be hanging around within the division race.