The San Jose Sharks will host the Ottawa Senators tonight in a must-win game against a struggling team. The Sharks are currently third place in the Pacific Division with a record of 15-10-2, whereas the Senators are currently seventh place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 9-11-7.
The Sharks enter tonight winning their last game 5-4 in a thrilling overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. That game might be the one that changes the Sharks' season as they trailed 3-0 after the first period and 4-2 after the second and somehow came away with the clutch win. Joe Thornton and Brent Burns also came up with five points between them. Hopefully they can build off that momentum and continue it through the rest of this home stand.
The Senators, on the other hand, are an absolute mess right now. Since trading for forward Matt Duchene, the Sens are an awful 3-8-2 and nothing seems to be going right. The Senators are currently on a three game losing streak after defeats to the L.A. Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and the Winnipeg Jets and have been outscored 12-3 in those games.
Here are two things to watch for the Sharks tonight:
Can the Sharks build off the huge momentum of last game and go on a tear?
The Sharks are currently coming off one of their most exciting games of the season, after winning a game after trailing 3-0. The Sharks knocked off deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 in order to win the game 5-4 in overtime after scoring three key unanswered third period goals.
The Sharks will hope Burns, Thornton and Pavelski can all stay hot as the Sharks look to continue this home stand on a positive note.
Will the Sharks take advantage of the dumpster fire Senators and get a must-win?
As we know, the Senators are an absolute mess right now, only winning three out of their last 13 games and looking lost in each contest.
Since that huge three-team trade that went down on November 5th, including the Senators, the Nashville Predators, and the Colorado Avalanche, Matt Duchene has gone 2-2-4 in 13 games and has hardly been a factor in thise contests. The other half of that trade, Kyle Turris, has 3-10-13 in 14 games and is carrying the Predators to second place in the Central Division.
The Sharks will need to take advantage of this awful Senators team, build off their last game momentum, and get a new win streak going with their second in a row.