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Sharks vs Lightning Preview: Tough challenge tonight

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The Sharks will play host to the second best team in the league: the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight is a tale of two extremely hot teams, as the San Jose Sharks (8-5-0) will face the powerful Tampa Bay Lightning (11-2-2). The Lightning have been the story of the NHL so far this year: Not only are they second place in the NHL in points, they also have the top two leading point scorers in Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

The Lightning are coming off a 5-4 shootout win against the Blue Jackets on Friday and have recorded points in 12 out of their last 13 games.

The Sharks are also entering tonight’s game on a hot streak, currently on a four game win-streak. Just like the Lightning, the Sharks are coming off a shootout win on Saturday after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 2-1.

The Sharks have recorded a point in seven out of their last nine games after starting the year only 1-3-0 and will look to keep the streak going tonight against the tough Tampa Bay Lightning team.

Special teams will be a big part of tonight’s match, as the Lightning enter tonight with the second best power play in the league and the ninth best penalty kill. The Sharks enter tonight with the 16th best power play and the second best penalty kill.

One of the things to look out for in tonight’s game aside from Stamkos and Kucherov has to be the Lightnings’ goaltender; Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy is a 23-year-old Russian goaltender who stepped up and took over after losing Ben Bishop to Los Angeles last season. Vasilevskiy already has 11 wins this year, two more than any other goalie, and is top 10 in the save percentage category.

The Sharks will hope that Martin Jones can continue his third star of the week honors and help extend this win streak to five.

Puck drop is at 7:30 Pacific. Get ready, folks — tonight is going to be a good one.