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Sharks vs. Capitals Preview: A distraction from election night

Just pretend the outside world doesn’t exist. After you vote.

NHL: Washington Capitals at San Jose Sharks Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks head to Washington D.C. on an otherwise totally nondescript evening ... or whatever. San Jose looks to snap a three-game losing streak against a Capitals’ team that appears to be every bit as good as it was last year.

A high PDO is hiding Washington’s subpar possession numbers, but a goalie as good as Braden Holtby combined with the Caps’ high-end talent will be a tough test for San Jose. The Sharks called up Kevin Labanc yesterday to try to drag its PDO from 30th in the NHL, though it’s not clear if the rookie will make his NHL debut tonight.

Martin Jones will almost certainly start for the Sharks after getting the hook early in the second period against the Penguins on Saturday. The less said about that loss the better — suffice to say the Sharks are looking forward to moving past that contest as quickly as possible.

San Jose swept Washington last season and outscored the Capitals 10-2. Don’t expect that kind of dominance to continue tonight — though it seems the Sharks are poised to explode offensively eventually. San Jose’s pitiful shooting percentage probably played a role in Labanc’s call up and it would be very soothing to see the rookie get his first NHL goal in his debut.

Frankly, the Sharks are desperate enough for offense at this point that they’ll take a few own goals from Washington if that’s what gets them on the scoreboard. San Jose is fifth in the NHL in scoring chances for per 60 minutes but sits 27th in the league in goals for per 60 minutes. At some point the goals will come ... probably.

You can catch the game on CSN California or on KFOX if you’re in the Bay Area. The game will also be available, as usual, on NHL.tv. Go Sharks.

Game 1
at
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m. PT
SAP Center, San Jose, California, USA
Get the Pittsburgh perspective at Pensburgh
How to Watch / Listen In San Jose
Stats and Figures
6-6-0 Record 8-2-1
3rd in Pacific Standings 3rd in Metropolitan
53.77% Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick 51.09%
94.79 PDO 103.54
19.5 PP% 14.3
87.1 PK% 80.7