Remember way back on Nov. 9 when the Sharks shut out the Capitals 3-0 to end a three-game losing streak and snap Washington’s winning streak at five contests? Me neither. That feels like a long time ago and frankly doesn’t hold much bearing on what will transpire between the two teams at SAP Center tonight.
The Capitals look like a team ready to make a deep postseason run while San Jose hopes the addition of Jannik Hansen and a nearly healthy lineup has it poised to do the same. Washington’s addition of Kevin Shattenkirk, somehow a luxury to an already ridiculously deep blue line, makes the Caps even better.
Hansen is set to make his debut as a Shark after a lengthy immigration debut while David Schlemko may miss a third-straight game due to a lower-body injury. Joonas Donskoi will get his second-straight game of action and, if yesterday’s lines are any indication, Marcus Sorensen will get another chance on the Sharks’ fourth line as Micheal Haley gets a night off.
Washington enters the game in first place in the Metropolitan with a five-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals lost to the Dallas Stars on Monday at home to snap a three-game winning streak. They lead the league in even-strength scoring (2.96 goals-for per 60 minutes) and remain a dangerous power play team.
San Jose maintains a seven-point lead in the Pacific and can move that to nine points with a win; the Ducks play Chicago while Edmonton is idle. The Sharks picked up a win against Winnipeg on Monday after dropping a stinker against Minnesota on Sunday. Team Teal’s next game is against Nashville on Saturday afternoon.