San Jose Sharks Look to Regain Form Against the Vegas Golden Knights

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 18: Melker Karlsson #68 of the San Jose Sharks flicks a shot on goal against Brayden McNabb #3 of the Vegas Golden Knights at SAP Center on March 18, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 18: Melker Karlsson #68 of the San Jose Sharks flicks a shot on goal against Brayden McNabb #3 of the Vegas Golden Knights at SAP Center on March 18, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Both the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights are on active losing streak. Something’s got to give on Saturday at the Tank.

The San Jose Sharks are coming off a tough 4 – 5 defeat against the Chicago Blackhawks. Team Teal gave up an early lead and were unable to recover despite a valiant comeback orchestrated by the heroics of Tomas Hertl and “Goose” Nyquist.

Excluding a few high quality individual performances Team Teal looked flat for major portions of the game. The San Jose Sharks struggled mightily to transition the puck out of their own zone and through the neutral areas of the ice. This resulted in weak zone entries and lazy turnovers that translated into odd man rushes going the other direction. They’ll need to tighten up play in their own zone if they are looking to break the cold streak.

The typically explosive San Jose Sharks offense has gone cold only compiling 2.57 goals per game during this recent rough patch. To make matters worse Team Teal has surrendered 4.28 goals per game during that same amount of time. With only 5 games remaining in the season the Sharks are running out of runway to solidify their team play.

On the other side of this equation is the Vegas Golden Knights who have gone 1 – 3 – 1 since their last match-up against the San Jose Sharks are also looking to stabilize their play. They’ve sacrificed 3 or more goals over their last 4 and are clearly showing dents in their armor.  It appears that the absence of their star netminder Marc-Andre Fluery is definitely starting to show during this recent skid.

The losing streak couldn’t have come at a better time for the San Jose Sharks. Tonight Team Teal has the opportunity to clinch 2nd in the division and home ice advantage for the first round with any type of win against the Golden Knights on Saturday evening.

With tonight being the first of back to back against division rivals it’s going to be interesting how the San Jose Sharks approach this match-up against their future first round playoff opponent. Here’s what to expect when it comes to line configurations, defensive pairings, and projected starters for both clubs.

San Jose Sharks

Forward Combinations

Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Gus Nyquist

Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Joonas Donskoi

Marcus Sorensen~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc

Micheal Haley ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Dylan Gambrell

Defensive Pairings

Joakim Ryan ~ Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Tim Heed

Brendan Dillon ~ Justin Braun

Goalie

Projected Starter ~ Martin Jones

Backup ~ Aaron Dell

Vegas Golden Knights

Forward Combinations

Jonathan Marchessault ~ William Karlsson ~ Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty ~ Paul Stastny ~ Mark Stone

Tomas Nosek ~ Cody Eakin ~ Alex Tuch

Will Carrier ~ Pierre-Edouard ~ Ryan Reaves

Defensive Pairings

Nate Schmidt ~ Deryk Engelland

Brayden McNabb ~ Shea Theodore

Jon Merrill ~ Colin Miller

Goalie

Projected Starter ~ Malcom Subban

Backup ~ Maxime Lagace

Puck drop for tonight’s game is at 6:00 PM PT live at the SAP Center. The game will be televised on NBC Sports California while the audio is streamed via the San Jose Sharks official app courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.

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