The Sharks bounce right back to San Jose tonight to host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. PT after edging the Kings 3-2 at Staples Center on Wednesday. This is the second and final meeting between the teams; San Jose beat the Lightning 3-1 back in November as part of its clean sweep of Florida.
At the time that seemed a lot more impressive than it does now. Neither Florida team is in a playoff spot at the moment and the Lightning in particular have struggled mightily with both injury and consistency on the ice. Tampa is currently without Steven Stamkos, who’s currently on Long Term Injured Reserve; so if you were hoping to show him what he’s missing in your teal Stamkos jersey...expect to be disappointed.
While it’s a bummer we won’t get to see Stamkos play, it’s only good news for the Sharks’ chances of sweeping a back to back. We’re still not sure what the lineup will look like for San Jose, both in terms of who will be in net (my guess is Aaron Dell plays) or if Logan Couture returns to the lineup (flip a coin).
A win tonight moves the Sharks back into second place in the Pacific and could bring San Jose within a point of the Ducks who currently sit in first with a three-point cushion.