Preview: Sharks (19-3-5) vs Penguins (19-9-1)
Date: Thursday, December 5th 2013
San Jose Sharks vs Pittsburgh Penguins Preview
This is the first meeting between the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins since November of 2011. Evgeni Malkin had two goals and one assist in that game but Malkin will not be playing tonight.
The Penguins had an optional skate on Wednesday after beating the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. The Penguins found themselves in a 2-0 hole early in the game but as we already know, the Islanders can’t hold a lead and allowed the Penguins to come back and win.
Malkin is day-to-day with a lower body injury and last season the Penguins went 15-2-0 without Malkin in the lineup. Can history repeat?
Marc-Andre Fleury has stopped 42 of 44 shots while winning his last two starts, and he should be in net again for this contest. He’s 1-2-2 with a 2.84 goals-against average in five career starts against San Jose.
As for San Jose they enter his game seeking a seventh straight victory as they continue a four game road trip.
The Sharks have faced the Penguins only 17 times over the last 15 years, going 14-1-1 with one tie in those contests. They’re 8-0-1 in the series since Pittsburgh’s 4-1 victory Nov. 23, 2002, winning the most recent meeting 4-3 in a shootout Nov. 3, 2011.
The Sharks are 9-2-3 away from home and tied for the fewest regulation road defeats in the league, though they’ll now face a Penguins team that has won four straight at home.
Antti Niemi has a 1.95 GAA while starting each contest during the Sharks’ winning streak
San Jose Sharks – Antti Niemi (confirmed)
Pittsburgh Penguins – Marc-Andre Fleury (confirmed)
Joe Thornton has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak for the Sharks. Logan Couture has two goals and three assists during a three-game point streak.
Malkin has four goals and 15 assists during a nine-game points streak for the Penguins. Crosby has six goals and seven assists in the past nine games. Crosby (38) and Malkin (37) are 1-2 in the League in points. Neal has eight goals and six assists in his past eight games.
San Jose forwards Raffi Torres (knee) and Adam Burish (lower body) are on injured reserve.
Pittsburgh goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot), defensemen Rob Scuderi (ankle) and Paul Martin (leg) and forwards Chuck Kobasew (lower body), Beau Bennett (wrist) and Tanner Glass (hand) are on injured reserve. Malkin is also day to day.
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