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Preview: Struggling Sharks start road trip in Detroit

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San Jose takes on an old rival looking to avoid an extended losing streak.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks-Red Wings rivalry took a hit when Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference, but there’s still plenty of drama surrounding the first of six straight games the Sharks will play in the eastern time zone. They’ll try to stop their losing streak at two and climb back to .500 against a Detroit team that’s set to welcome back Pavel Datsyuk on Friday night.

The Red Wings may be in second place right now, but that says more about the Atlantic Division than anything else. They’re closer to middle-of-the-pack in both the Eastern Conference and the NHL, and dead last in the league in score-adjusted Fenwick. If the Sharks can contain Datsyuk in his season debut, they’ll have a good chance of getting back into the win column.

Tale Of The Tape

Sharks 100px

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Detroit Red Wings logo
7-8-0 Record 8-6-1
4th in Pacific Rank 2nd in Atlantic
52.4%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 45.3%
99.7 PDO 102.1
11.4 PP% 17.6
77.1 PK% 83.3

4:30 PST - Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, Michigan
TV: CSN-CA - Radio: KFOX 98.5
Know Your Enemy: Winging It In Motown

Last meeting

The Sharks beat Detroit in a wild game that featured five goals in the first period and five more in the third. Patrick Marleau scored the last two goals for the Sharks, including the eventual game-winner. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Matt Nieto, Chris Tierney, and Logan Couture also scored goals against two different Detroit goalies.

Storylines

  • In case you missed it, Couture is traveling with the team but won’t play on the road trip. The second line may be dominating in his absence, but the Sharks are feeling the impact farther down the lineup, and they’ll have to get through at least six more games without their star center. At least we still have Marleau.
  • If Martin Jones gets the start in the first half of the back-to-back, he’ll look to rebound from Tuesday’s nightmare start against a team that’s 25th in the league in goals per game and last in shots per game (of course, the Wings have been playing without Datsyuk). Jones isn’t the guy who stopped 108 of 110 shots (.982 SV%) and led the Sharks to four straight wins to start the season, but they need him to be a lot better than the one who’s allowed 22 goals on 182 shots (.879 SV%) in eight games since then.