SAN JOSE - The Sharks look to keep their winning streak going as they return home for a three-game stint, starting with a Thursday night rumble with the Florida Panthers.
The Sharks will be without defenseman Radim Simek, who requires knee surgery following an injury he sustained during Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Joakim Ryan, who last played on Jan. 22 against the Washington Capitals, will take Simek's place on the blue line alongside Brent Burns.
San Jose also will be without Evander Kane for Thursday's game, although coach Peter DeBoer told the media that he hopes Kane will be able to play in the near future. Erik Karlsson also remains out of the lineup with no definitive timetable set for his return to practice.
The Panthers visit the red-hot Sharks riding a two-game winning streak where they have posted six goals in back-to-back contests - not unlike when they defeated the Sharks 6-2 in Florida on Jan. 21. However, they're sitting nine points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
This is the second and final time the Sharks and the Panthers will play each other this season. In 35 total matchups between the franchise, San Jose has a 14-11-7-3 record.
Sharks projected lines and pairs
Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Tomas Hertl – Kevin Labanc
Marcus Sorensen – Joe Thornton – Gustav Nyquist
Micheal Haley – Barclay Goodrow – Melker Karlsson
Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Tim Heed
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Martin Jones – projected starter
Panthers projected lines and pairs
Jonathan Huberdeau – Aleksander Barkov – Evgenii Dadonov
Frank Vatrano – Vincent Trochek – Mike Hoffman
Dryden Hunt – Riley Sheahan – Troy Brouwer
Jamie McGinn – Henrik Borgstrom – Jayce Hawryluk
Michael Matheson – Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle – Mackenzie Weegar
Mark Pysyk - Josh Brown
Samuel Montembeault – projected starter