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Sharks vs. Red Wings preview: San Jose looks to avoid seven-game home losing streak

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An old rival comes to town as the Sharks try to avoid matching their worst home-ice losing streak in twenty years.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Owners of the best home-ice winning percentage in the NHL from the 2003-04 season through 2013-14, the Sharks haven't lost seven games in a row in the Bay Area since a dismal eight-game slide in early 1995. They're at risk of dropping their seventh straight game on home ice tonight, as they continue the fight to keep their stretch of ten straight postseason appearances alive against the only team in the NHL with a longer active streak.

Tale Of The Tape
Detroit Red Wings

@

San Jose Sharks
33-15-11, 77 points
Record 30-23-8, 68 points
3rd in Atlantic Rank 5th in Pacific
52.8%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 50.3%
99.9
PDO 99.1
25.2
PP% 20.5
83.2
PK% 80.4

7:30PM PST | SAP Center | San Jose, California
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Winging It In Motown

Projected Sharks Lineup

Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Melker Karlsson
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels
Tomas Hertl - James Sheppard - Matt Nieto
John Scott - Andrew Desjardins - Tyler Kennedy

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Red Wings Lineup

Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Tatar
Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Justin Abdelkader
Joakim Andersson - Stephen Weiss - Teemu Pulkkinen
Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Tomas Jurco

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Jakub Kindl - Danny DeKeyser
Brenden Smith - Alexey Marchenko

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Last Meeting

Joe Pavelski nearly notched his first career hat trick, scoring twice while Andrew Desjardins and Dan Boyle added goals as the Sharks dispatched the Red Wings by a 4-1 score on home ice over a year ago, on January 9th, 2014. Pavelski hit the post late in a bid to get his third of the night, but would eventually get his first hat trick a little over a week later in Tampa.

Storylines

  • Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg's status for the game remains questionable after he missed the team's visits to Anaheim and Los Angeles with a concussion sustained Saturday against the Dallas Stars. Zetterberg's 49 points are still tied with Pavel Datsyuk for the team lead.
  • Jimmy Howard is projected to start tonight for Detroit and with young netminder Petr Mrazek pushing for minutes and the Wings needing to re-sign Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith this summer under what looks to be a constricted cap ceiling, perhaps Howard is someone the Sharks could look at as their next starter. With a .917 SV% over more than 10,000 regular season and playoff shots, he'd be at least a small upgrade on Niemi.
  • Even with a win tonight the Sharks would not move into a wild card spot thanks to Calgary's victory in New Jersey yesterday. They would, however, up their playoff odds by about seven percent.