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Sharks vs. Panthers Preview: San Jose welcomes Jason Demers back to town

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Daddy’s Home

San Jose Sharks v New York Rangers Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Jason Demers returns to SAP Center for the first time as a member of the Florida Panthers tonight. Daddy’s Home. Demers has five points in five games against the Sharks, two of which came on goals the last time San Jose saw the veteran defender. That was back on Nov. 10 when the Sharks came from behind to beat the Panthers 4-2.

Since then, things haven’t gone so well for the Panthers. Florida sits five points out of a wild card spot with a game in hand thanks to injury woes. They recently got Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau back from injury, but may find themselves in too big a hole for it to matter much. HockeyViz.com has Florida’s chances to make the postseason at 33 percent entering today.

The news is not so grim for the Sharks, who ended a four-game road trip with a convincing win over New Jersey on Sunday. San Jose holds a three-point lead over the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific after both teams won on Tuesday and can push that lead back to five points with a win tonight. Fingers crossed.

San Jose sent Timo Meier, Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed down to the Barracuda on Monday and Sorensen and Heed both played for the AMerican Hockey League club on Wednesday. I assume Meier will be recalled and will play with the SHarks tonight. Sorry Sorensen and Heed, I don’t like your odds.

Paul Gackle is reporting that Nikolay Goldobin will get called up to the NHL today. It’s possible he’ll get his first NHL action of the season since it seems Joonas Donskoi will not return to the team until after the Sharks’ bye week. If that’s the case, I expect Goldobin will play with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski on the top line in his 2016-17 debut.

Much more likely is that Goldobin sits in the press box and collects some sweet cash. Now let’s give Demers a great, big, San Jose welcome, okay?