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Sharks vs Lightning Preview: Go for four

The Sharks enter tonight on a three game win streak and look to extend that to four against the recently struggling Lightning.

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

Tonight is a tale of one struggling team and one very hot team, as the Tampa Bay Lightning (17-6-2) and the San Jose Sharks (14-8-2) square off for the second time within a month.

The Tampa Bay Lightning come into tonight losing three out of their last five games for their worst stretch of the season so far. Whereas the San Jose Sharks enter tonight winning four out of their last five games and currently on a three-game win streak. During this three game win streak, they have only allowed two goals due to solid goaltending from the tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell. The Lightning, on the other hand, have allowed 16 goals in their last five games and star forwards Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos have been nowhere to be found.

Just as in the last time these teams met, special teams will be a huge factor in tonight's contest. The Lightning currently have the best power-play in the league with a 27.4% conversion rate and the Sharks still hold the second best penalty-kill in the league with a 88.6% kill rate.

One thing the Sharks will need tonight is a fast start. The Sharks played last night in a thrilling victory against the Florida Panthers and will need to be strong right out of the gate, just in case the legs die out as the game goes on.

The Sharks have the opportunity tonight to take advantage of the struggling Lightning team. The Lightning are a team who are not going to hit many rough spots this season, so the timing couldn’t be better for the Sharks, who will need this game as they hope to continue an impressive road trip.

Martin Jones will make his return from injury tonight, as expected against one of the best teams in the league. He’ll try to match Aaron Dell’s performance last night and keep up the momentum for the San Jose Sharks.

Puck drop is at 4:30 Pacific. Get ready, folks — tonight is going to be a good one.