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Sharks vs. Lightning Preview: Starting a tough road trip

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San Jose starts a five-game road trip in Tampa Bay.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the 5-on-5 score-adjusted fenwick-for percentages of the Sharks' next five opponents: 52.3, 48.4, 52.3, 51.5 and 44.4. There are three good teams there and one of the not-so-good teams has a great goaltender in Roberto Luongo and the Sharks have to play them on the first half of a back-to-back. So yeah, this is going to be a tough stretch for San Jose.

With 28 games to play, the Sharks need around 23 points to make the playoffs as the third seed in the Pacific. That means San Jose only needs to average a paltry 0.79 points per game the rest of the way. So if the Sharks can get through this tough road trip with five points to their name, we'll call it a success.

First thing's first: Unlocking the defense that has given up the ninth-fewest goals in even strength play this season. The Lightning remain a contender to make a deep run in the playoffs this year and will likely pose the toughest test to the Sharks of any team on this road swing. So let's...wait for it...

Charge out of the gate.

I'm sorry.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

@

Tampa Bay Lightning
29-20-5 Record 30-21-4
3rd in Pacific Rank 4th in Atlantic
52.9%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 52.3%
100.0
PDO 100.5
23.0
PP% 18.6
80.5
PK% 82.5

4:30PM PDT | Amalie Arena | Tampa, Florida
TV: CSN-CA | Radio: SJSharks.com98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Raw Charge

Last Meeting

San Jose's third period comeback fell short, Alex Stalock had a bad night and Tampa Bay escaped with both points despite being outshot by 14.

Storylines

  • Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman proclaimed to the world Steven Stamkos wouldn't be traded before the Feb. 29 trade deadline. I imagine that will be a talking point.
  • San Jose has an excellent road record, and while the Sharks are busy repairing their not so stellar home mark it'd be nice to at least tread water on this road trip.
  • Mirco Mueller was recalled yesterday. Will he actually touch the ice after warmups?