The San Jose Sharks come into tonight’s game looking for a new winning streak. After missing an opportunity against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, they look to grab two points from a surging St. Louis Blues team.
San Jose has gone 2-1 on their five-game road trip to this point as their attention turns to Western Conference opposition. The Blues are on quite the roll at the moment as St. Louis has rattled off five-straight victories and six of their past seven as they tighten the gap atop the Central Division standings.
Meanwhile, the Sharks will be looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since the beginning of January when they dropped a pair of contests to the Jets and Red Wings. Expect a much better effort from San Jose after having a couple days off over the weekend.
This will be the second of three meetings between these two clubs with the Sharks taking home a 3-1 victory at Scottrade Center on Feb. 4 behind goals from Joonas Donskoi, Joe Thornton and Matt Nieto. They’ll be looking for that same production up-and-down the lineup and a strong effort from Martin Jones between the pipes.
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Players to Watch
Sharks: Brent Burns scored one of two Sharks goals in the 5-2 loss to Carolina. He has five points (one goal, four assists) in his last five games.
Blues: Jaden Schwartz has four goals and an assist in his last five games coming back from injury. Since the 2014-15 season, Schwartz has bolstered St. Louis’ offense which has helped win games, as they are 60-21-6 with him the line-up compared to the 26-20-10 record without him.
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Sharks: Brenden Dillon (lower body) and Tommy Wingels (upper body) are out.
Blues: Steve Ott (hamstring), Alex Pietrangelo (right knee) and Alex Steen (upper body) are out.
Keys to the Game
1) Net Front Presence
The Blues currently have a hot goaltender in Brian Elliott. The only way to get pucks past him, aside from lucky bounces, is to get traffic in front. Screen the goalie. Get in position to deflect pucks, and pounce on any second and third chances.
2) Contain the Blues’ Offense
St. Louis has scored 17 goals in their last five games. The Sharks will have to tighten up defensively. Everyone has to support the puck and each other as a five-man unit. That would definitely help Jones a lot as well.
TV: NBCSN (5:00 p.m. PST)
Radio: 98.5 KFOX