The Sharks (10-7-0, 4th Pacific) face the Boston Bruins (7-7-4, 5th Atlantic) tonight for the second and last time this season. Beset by a plethora of significant injuries, the Bruins have been treading water so far this year, and sit at the sort-of-not-really-.500 of the loser point NHL. Led in points (17) and goals (10) by the newly signed Czech wonder David Pastrnak, the Bruins are struggling to maintain relevance in a newly competitive Atlantic division with a goal differential of -8.
The Sharks should be coming into this contest with a bit of a chip on their collective shoulder, after an embarrassing 2-0 loss to the Florida Panthers at home on Thursday night. Two disallowed (probably correctly) goals paved the way for the Sharks' first shut out (but the bad kind) of the season, thanks in no small part to the heroics of twitter sensation and octogenarian goaltender Roberto Luongo.
The Bruins enter the SAP Center tonight headed in the opposite direction, fresh off of a 2-1 victory over the Kings in Los Angeles. Back up (?) goaltender and nefarious net dislodger Anton Khudobin stopped 27 Kings shots, and rookie Charlie McAvoy scored a highlight reel goal to seal the two points in southern California.
Tonight's battle of the back ups features a second straight start for Khudobin, fueling the fire for a possible (albeit improbable) goal tending controversy in Beantown. Khudobin has been dominant in a small sample size against the Sharks over the course of his career, with a record of 3-1-0, a save percentage of .967, and a GAA of .99 over four games with Carolina, Anaheim, and Boston. This includes a 36 save performance in a 2-1 win in Boston (where rookie Danton Heinen scored his first two NHL goals, isn't that just friggin' peachy) on 26 October of this year. Khudobin is having a strong campaign over all, at 4-0-2, with a .928 save percentage and a 2.35 GAA.
Sharks second stringer Aaron Dell has been no shrinking violet, however. Dell's season features a record of 2-2-0, a save percentage of .934, and his GAA of 1.94 is top in the league among goaltenders who have appeared in at least six games. He'll need to be up to the task with the Sharks' offense ranking in the NHL's bottom quarter. Logan Couture leads the team's meager offense in points (15) goals (10) and power play points (three).
Despite the poor showing against the Cats, the Sharks are still 6-2-0 in their last eight games, and will hopefully be able to right the ship tonight and start banking points in this soft portion of their schedule.
Joonas Donskoi -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Melker Karlsson
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Jannik Hansen
Timo Meier -- Danny O'Regan -- Joel Ward
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon -- Tim Heed
Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Dylan DeMelo, Kevin Labanc
Injured: Paul Martin (ankle), Barclay Goodrow (upper body)
The Sharks placed Barclay Goodrow on injured reserve earlier today and recalled center Daniel O'Regan from the AHL's Barracuda to center the fourth line. Petey Deboer has little loyalty to line combinations, though, so he could be playing goal by the end of the game for all we know. This call up is bad news for Ryan Carpenter, who will be a healthy scratch for his sixth straight game. O'Regan leads the Barracuda in scoring with 12 points in 12 games played.
In positive news, Jannik Hansen is alive, and will draw into the lineup in place of Kevin Labanc.
Danton Heinen -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak
Peter Cehlarik -- David Krejci -- Jake DeBrusk
Noel Acciari -- Riley Nash -- Frank Vatrano
Tim Schaller -- Sean Kuraly -- Jordan Szwarz
Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy
Brandon Carlo -- Kevan Miller
Paul Postma -- Rob O'Gara
Scratched: Kenny Agostino, Matt Beleskey
Injured: Brad Marchand (undisclosed), Torey Krug (upper body), Anders Bjork (undisclosed), Adam McQuaid (broken right leg), Ryan Spooner (groin), David Backes (colon surgery)
Oh man, that injury list is really long, hey? Torey Krug is projected to miss his second straight game, opening the door for the McAvoy star to continue to rise.
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, NESN
Stream: NHL.tv, NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App