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Sharks vs. Islanders Preview: San Jose continues to cook at home

It’s a Friday afternoon on ice!

NHL: San Jose Sharks at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose hosts the Islanders at 1 p.m. PT as the Sharks look to win their third game in a row and sweep the two-game season series against New York. The Islanders have struggled this season both in on-ice performance and results as they hold one of the league’s worst records and fenwick for percentage.

As we’ve learned over the years, that doesn’t make this game a gimme for the Sharks. Every team is tough and underestimating an opponent often ends in a loss, another phenomenon we’ve become all too familiar with. Still, San Jose has picked up four points through two games of its five-game homestand and can clinch a winning record with a victory this afternoon.

The Islanders might not be very good this season, but this will be Sharks’ fans only chance to see John Tavares at the Shark Tank during the regular season. That alone makes the game appointment viewing — yes, I assure you it will be more fun than going out of your house for any other reason on Black Friday.

Back-to-back wins would ordinarily mean San Jose isn’t likely to make any significant changes to its lineup, but the Sharks are in a bit of a bind given their injury situation. Melker Karlsson may be good to go this afternoon, which I imagine would spell the end of Micheal Haley’s run in the lineup; or perhaps Matt Nieto or Kevin Labanc will see the press box.

Dylan DeMelo got his first action of the season on Wednesday because of an illness to David Schlemko. It’s unclear whether Schlemko will be ready to go for this afternoon’s game. We should know more after the morning skate.

Until then, go Sharks!