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Gameday Thread: Predators @ Sharks

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Next Game

Nashville Predators
@ San Jose Sharks

Saturday, Nov 5, 2011, 7:30 PM PDT
HP Pavilion

Complete Coverage >

According to David Pollak of Working The Corners, there will be some new line combinations tonight for San Jose:

"We’re 11 games into the season and sometimes you can get a little bit stale," McLellan said. "We weren’t getting a lot from our third and fourth lines anyhow. Our other two lines for the most part carried our team on the road trip, but they started to sputter at the end, too. There may be a fresh look. It’s time."

The most dramatic change has Marty Havlat moving to the third line alongside Michal Handzus and Jamie McGinn, while Torrey Mitchell moves up to play alongside Ryane Clowe and Patrick Marleau. That leaves Joe Thornton centering Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture on what probably ends up being the top line, though it’s hard to say at this point which will get the most minutes.

>> Working The Corners

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier today, I like it-- you know what you're getting with the Sharks normal top six, and this allows San Jose to attempt to jumpstart the scoring depth that has been lacking for them this season. Couture playing alongside Thornton has been successful historically, and the second line adds the speed of Mitchell and Marleau to the gritty boardwork Ryane Clowe is fond of.

The third line is the kicker here-- Havlat has shown just how phenomenal he is at setting up other players for scoring chances, and Handzus has continued to prove his ability to control the puck down low and work the cycle. If Jamie McGinn can begin to put the puck in the net at the rate we've always hoped for him, this could turn out to be a dangerous option for San Jose that spreads out their depth and gives them options on all three lines.

In other news, Justin Braun will remain in the lineup after playing his best game of the year on Thursday. Colin White will be his partner, as Jim Vandermeer is expected to be a healthy scratch. Benn Ferriero and Jason Demers continue to see press box time as well.

Antti Niemi will get the start for San Jose while Pekka Rinne gets the go for Nashville.

Puck drops at 7:37 PM.