The Sharks (15-10-2, 3rd Pacific) wrap up a series of six games against Eastern opponents tonight with a visit from the Ottawa Senators (9-11-7, 7th Atlantic) before hosting the Minnesota Wild tomorrow evening. Last season's Eastern Conference finalists are crashing and burning, and will try tonight to secure their second win in a 12 game stretch (1-8-2 in their last 11).
Both teams have stars that could just be finding their way to production, as both Brent Burns and Matt Duchene have been heroic examples in recent games. Burns has two goals and four assists, including an overtime winner, in his last seven games, after recording only eight assists in his previous 20. Duchene recorded a goal and an assist in his last appearance, after tallying only four points (two goals, two assists) in 13 games since a three way trade from the Colorado Avalanche by way of the Nashville Predators.
Stud defenseman Erik Karlsson has struggled lately, however, and ended a ten game pointless streak with an assist Thursday night. Despite this, and despite missing this first five games of the season, Karlsson still ranks 13th among all defensemen in the league with 18 points in 22 contests. The dude is an absolute monster, and injury or no, is a legitimate threat every shift.
The Sharks are coming off of an emotional overtime victory over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. The boys in blue overcame two three goal deficits en route to a game winning fifth Sharks goal from Burns in overtime. Allowing three goals on the first four shots is hardly a repeatable strategy, and the Sharks will need to show up on time tonight if they want another two points.
Ottawa is coming off of a similarly emotional overtime game, but not one to be similarly celebrated. The Sens dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night, after Ryan Dzingel brought them even with ten seconds remaining in regulation. After being shut out in two straight games, however, an overtime loss was a step in the right direction, and one worries that the #peskysens could be figuring it out.
Probably not, though.
Melker Karlsson -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward
Marcus Sorensen -- Ryan Carpenter -- Jannik Hansen
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns
Dylan DeMelo -- Tim Heed
Scratched: Joakim Ryan
Injured: Joonas Donskoi (lower body), Mikkel Boedker (lower body), Barclay Goodrow (lower body)
Paul Martin was conspicuously absent this morning, as he's been sent down to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda on a conditioning stint. He was very clearly not up to speed in Thursday's game against Carolina, and this is likely a move to avoid a similar showing. Goodrow is expected to miss at least a week, bad timing after a great performance on Thursday, including a short handed game tying goal.
Dillon is set to return from his one game suspension from his Paul Bunyan impression in DC, and Carpenter and Heed will draw back into the Sharks regulars to make up for Goodrow's and Martin's absence, as Ryan will sit to allow for the inexplicable continued dependence on expert hockey stick thrower, Dylan DeMelo.
Dell is set to make his ninth start of the season, as the coaching staff holds Jones out to face the Wild, who they see as a greater threat. Dell is 4-3-1 so far this season, with a goals against average of 1.93 and a save percentage of .933.
Zack Smith -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone
Bobby Ryan -- Matt Duchene -- Ryan Dzingel
Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Gabriel Dumont
Alexandre Burrows -- Nate Thompson -- Tom Pyatt
Ben Harpur -- Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf -- Thomas Chabot
Johnny Oduya -- Cody Ceci
Scratched: Fredrik Claesson
Injured: Mark Borowiecki (concussion), Chris Wideman (groin)
Anderson will try to halt a six game losing streak tonight.
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, SN
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App