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Sharks vs. Panthers Preview: San Jose looks to make it two wins in a row

I have nothing nice to say about the state of Florida.

Florida Panthers v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Fresh off a solid 3-0 victory against the Washington Capitals, the Sharks get another tough test as they head to Sunrise to battle the Florida Panthers. While Florida hasn’t gotten off to a great start to the season (6-6-1 is fine, but floating around .500 isn’t fun — just ask the Sharks), they remain a dangerous possession team with good goaltending.

That record may not be totally indicative of what the Panthers have brought this season. They’ve struggled on the road, winning just once, but at home boast a 5-2-0 record and offer very solid possession numbers. Florida’s PDO doesn’t suggest the team is due for positive regression but I’ll go out on a limb and say they end being better than a .500 team this year.

The Sharks will also get their first look at Jason Demers and James Reimer in Panthers jerseys, so get out your tissues now. Demers signed a big free agent deal with the Panthers while Reimer plays the understudy for Roberto Luongo. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Reimer in net against his former team.

Speaking of goaltending, I also expect to see Martin Jones make another start. Coming off a shutout, head coach Pete DeBoer is unlikely to give him a night off — particularly since this Florida trip comes without a back-to-back. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jones make nearly every start this trip.

Don’t expect any changes for the Sharks lines. Winning a game 3-0 is as good a guarantee as you can get that DeBoer won’t tinker with the lineup. That’s probably a good thing, as it means we get another chance to see Kevin LaBanc do his thing on the second line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi.

This is a 4:30 p.m. start on CSN-California, so you’ll either have to cut out of work early or watch from the office. I’m sorry, I know these east coast road trips are terrible. I’ll host a pregame Q&A on Facebook Live (around 1 p.m. PT), so go ahead and like us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already!

Go Sharks.

Game 1
Thursday, Nov. 10, 4:30 p.m. PT
BB&T Arena, Sunrise, Florida, USA
Get the Florida perspective at Litter Box Cats
How to Watch / Listen In San Jose
Stats and Figures
7-6-0 Record 6-6-1
T-3rd in Pacific Standings T-6th in Atlantic
53.80% Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick 52.95%
95.84 PDO 99.22
18.6 PP% 18.8
88.2 PK% 81.1