NHL Gameday: Sharks Go for Road Trip Sweep in Chicago - NBC Bay Area

NHL Gameday: Sharks Go for Road Trip Sweep in Chicago

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NHL Gameday: Sharks Go for Road Trip Sweep in Chicago
    Kevin Kurz
    NHL Gameday: Sharks go for road trip sweep in Chicago

    Programming note – Sharks-Blackhawks coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

    WHERE THEY STAND

    Sharks: 19-11-1, 39 points, 1st Pacific Division
    Blackhawks: 21-8-4, 46 points, 1st Central Division

    PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

    ***The Sharks and Blackhawks are in first place in the Pacific and Central divisions, respectively, and both bring four-game winning streaks into tonight’s game at United Center.

    San Jose will be concluding a four-game road trip, winning the first two via the shootout and downing the Canadiens on Friday, 4-2. Chicago played on Saturday night in St. Louis, coming from behind to beat the Blues, 6-4. They are 5-0-1 in their last six.

    ***Due in part to travel delays getting out of Montreal, the Sharks did not practice on Saturday and decided not to hold a pregame skate with the earlier start time. It’s unclear as of Sunday morning whether Joel Ward, who was a healthy scratch against the Canadiens, will return to the lineup.

    Martin Jones will almost certainly get the call in net. He's 10-4-1 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in his last 16 games. Chicago's Corey Crawford remains out after having an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3.

    ***Tonight is the second of three meetings between the Sharks and Blackhawks. San Jose won on Nov. 23 at SAP Center, 2-1, on goals from Logan Couture (power play) and Ward (shorthanded). Chicago visits the Sharks again on Jan. 31.
     
    KEEP AN EYE ON...

    Sharks: Joonas Donskoi. After he was a healthy scratch in Ottawa on Wednesday for the first time this season, Donskoi returned against Montreal and posted a pair of assists for his first multi-point game of the season. On linemate Timo Meier's goal, Donskoi did some work behind the net to get the puck to the point to David Schlemko, resulting in the rebound for Meier. Prior to being removed from the lineup, Donskoi had just one point, an assist, in his last 12 games.

    Blackhawks: Artemi Panarin. “The bread man” posted three points on Saturday against the Blues (1g, 2a), and has nine points (4g, 5a) during a four-game point streak. Panarin became the 27th player in NHL history to reach 100 points in the first 110 games of his career, and is the first to do that since teammate Patrick Kane in 2008-09.

    PROBABLE LINES

    Sharks
    Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
    Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
    Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
    Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson

    Paul Martin – Brent Burns
    Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
    Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

    Martin Jones (likely starter)
    Aaron Dell

    Blackhawks
    Ryan Hartman – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
    Artemi Panarin – Artem Anisimov – Patrick Kane
    Dennis Rasmussen – Marcus Kruger – Richard Panik
    Andrew Desjardins – Vince Hinostroza – Jordin Tootoo

    Duncan Keith – Niklas Hjalmarsson
    Michal Kempny – Brent Seabrook
    Trevor van Riemsdyk – Brian Campbell

    Scott Darling
    Lars Johansson

    INJURIES/SCRATCHES

    Sharks: Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) is out.

    Blackhawks: Artem Anisimov (upper body) is day-to-day. Corey Crawford (appendix) is out.

    QUOTEABLE

    “I feel good. I feel strong. [Patrick Marleau] has been really, really good, too. It’s been fun playing with him. But, yeah, I feel my game is coming out where it should be.” – Joe Thornton