Sharks vs. Senators: Stalock gets first career start

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In the second half of their Canadian back-to-back, the Sharks take on the Ottawa Senators with Alex Stalock getting the first start of his NHL career.

It's a quick turnaround for the Sharks as, less than twenty hours after the final buzzer signaled their 2-0 win in Montreal, they'll have crossed the Ottawa River to take on the Senators for a Sunday matinee. Ottawa has had its struggles with opponents from the Golden State so far this season. After dropping a 2-1 decision to Anaheim on Friday, the Senators are now a combined 0-3-1 against the three California teams, a record that includes their 3-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose a fortnight ago. That one was a tightly-contested matchup until the Sharks blew things open with a 24-5 shot advantage in the third period. Riddled with injuries and on the second half of a back-to-back, that may be a difficult feat for San Jose to pull off again.

The story tonight, assuming Dan Boyle doesn't make his triumphant return which CBC's Cassie Campbell reported was a possibility, revolves around Sharks backup goalie Alex Stalock getting his first career start. It'll be the 26-year-old's fourth NHL appearance, as he's spelled Antti Niemi on three previous occasions, but it's certainly a special moment for a player who fought his way back to the game after sustaining what many assumed would be a career-ending injury. He'll man the crease opposite countryman and USA Olympic Team candidate Craig Anderson, who wasn't in net for Ottawa when these teams met in the Bay Area. Another change to the Sens lineup since that game was the recall of young stud Mika Zibanejad, who inexplicably began the season in AHL Binghamton. The skilled Swedish center gives the Sens the kind of depth down the middle needed to counter the Sharks' strength in that area and should make for a fun matchup game between the two former Red Wings assistants behind these clubs' respective benches.

It's a relatively early Sunday game and the Sharks just played so here's the requisite pump-up video if you need it:


San Jose Sharks

@

Ottawa Senators
9-1-1, 19 points
4-4-2, 10 points
1st in Pacific
6th in Atlantic

2PM PST | Canadian Tire Centre | Ottawa, Ontario
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Silver Seven, Radek Bonk's Mullet, HockeyBuzz Ottawa

Projected Sharks Lineup

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tyler Kennedy
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Freddie Hamilton
Matt Nieto - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
John McCarthy - Andrew Desjardins - James Sheppard

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Brad Stuart
Scott Hannan - Jason Demers

Alex Stalock
Antti Niemi

Projected Senators Lineup

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Cory Conacher
Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan
Derek Grant - Mika Zibanejad - Erik Condra
Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Patrick Wiercioch
Chris Phillips - Joe Corvo

Craig Anderson
Robin Lehner

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