The San Jose Sharks (29-34-5, 7th Pacific) wrap up their six-game home stand tonight against the Colorado Avalanche (40-19-8, 2nd Central). The Avalanche are just two points behind the St. Louis Blues for the top seed in the Central Division, so expect to see Colorado’s A-game. Not only that, but in a rare move the Sharks are at home playing the second half of back-to-back games while the Avalanche last played on Friday in Vancouver.
It is no surprise that Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avalanche in all the important scoring categories. MacKinnon has 90 points this season, 34 goals and 56 assists. MacKinnon is expected to be flanked by Gabriel Landeskog (39 points - 20 goals, 19 assists) and Vladislav Namestnikov who has played just six games this season.
Another name of note, Joonas Donskoi. This is Donskoi’s first return to San Jose since he signed with the Avs in the off season. It’s hard to fault Donskoi for choosing the Avalanche, they offered him a lot more money and a longer term than the Sharks were willing/able to. Donskoi signed a four-year deal with a $3.9 million AAV. He has performed admirably for the Avalanche this season, scoring a career-high 15 goals and has 17 assists to boot.
These two teams have played once before this season on Jan. 16 when the Sharks were shutout 4-0.
For the Sharks, it will be Martin Jones getting the start. That was the plan all along, since Aaron Dell started last night in the 2-1 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators.
AVALANCHE (per NHL.com)
There are a lot of injuries on the Colorado side of things, so expect to see some of the depth players playing a larger role tonight.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Vladislav Namestnikov
Matt Nieto - J.T. Compher - Joonas Donskoi
Sheldon Dries - Tyson Jost - Valeri Nichushkin
Vladislav Kamenev - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Ryan Graves - Samuel Girard
Ian Cole - Erik Johnson
Kevin Connauton - Mark Barberio
Scratched : Nikita Zadorov
Injured: Cale Makar (upper body), Andre Burakovsky (lower body), Philipp Grubauer (lower body), Mikko Rantanen (upper body), Nazem Kadri (lower body), Colin Wilson (lower body), Mark Calvert (lower body)
Where to watch
Tonight’s game will be nationally televised on NBCSN. You can also stream the game on NHL.tv. Puck drop from SAP Center will be at 7:00 PT/10:00 ET.
There will be a radio call on 98.5 KFOX. You can still listen to the game live over the Sharks + SAP Center app.