The Sharks (26-16-8, 2nd Pacific) continue this desolate road trip with a stop in Columbus to face the water treading Blue Jackets (27-19-4, 4th Metropolitan). The Sharks have struggled mightily since losing Joe Thornton to injury against the Winnipeg Jets, losing that game and the three that succeeded it. They sit on their longest losing streak of the season: four games at 0-2-2. San Jose still sits on the second spot in the Pacific division, but their hold is tenuous at best.
The Sharks' 2-1 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday should inspire some confidence in the health of goaltender Martin Jones, if in nothing else. Still, when a goalie stops 43 of 44 shots, you need to win that game. Columbus is coming off of a shoot out loss of their own, theirs a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. Similarly, Jackets, when your goalie makes 41 saves on 43 shots, you need to win that game.
Pep talks aside, the Jackets have struggled lately after a hot start. Since winning a season best six in a row from 11 to 24 November, Columbus is 12-12-5, and are just barely hanging on to the second Eastern conference wild card spot. In their last 11 games, the Blue Jackets have scored more than two goals in regulation only once, resulting in a 6-3 loss on the road to the Vegas Golden Knights. Still, their special teams may represent Columbus' largest threat throughout this slide, as they rank third in the NHL since 7 Jan, with a 31.6 % power play conversion rate.
Tonight marks Tomas Hertl's 300th NHL game (they grow up so fast!), so whaddya say we celebrate with a win, hey boys?
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi
Mikkel Boedker -- Chris Tierney -- Melker Karlsson
Barclay Goodrow -- Daniel O'Regan -- Joel Ward
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brendan Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo
Scratched: Jannik Hansen, Tim Heed, Marcus Sorensen
Injured: Joe Thornton (knee)
O'Regan is likely to draw in in place of Sorensen, hope he's hungry.
Blue Jackets Lines
Artemi Panarin -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno
Oliver Bjorkstrand -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Josh Anderson
Matt Calvert -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner -- Lukas Sedlak -- Jussi Jokinen
Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara -- Jack Johnson
Dean Kukan -- David Savard
Scratched: Scott Harrington, Markus Hannikainen
Injured: Ryan Murray (back), Sonny Milano (oblique)
Where to watch
Broadcast: NBCSCA, FS-O
Stream: NHL.tv / NHL App
Radio: 98.5 KFOX / NHL App / Sharks App