NASHVILLE -- Defenseman Justin Braun will return to the lineup and goaltender Alex Stalock will get the start on Tuesday night, per the Sharks’ official website, as San Jose visits the team with the best record in the NHL, the Predators.
Braun has missed the last 11 games with a left hand injury suffered against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 19. He will be paired with Brenden Dillon, which is where he was skating before he came out of the lineup.
“It’s great. It doesn’t matter when you come back. … You just want to get back and get your game going again,” Braun told SJSharks.com.
Matt Tennyson was reassigned to Worcester to make room for Braun.
Stalock will be starting for the first time since Feb. 4, a 3-1 loss to Calgary. Antti Niemi – the subject of trade talk lately – has started 10 of the last 11 games for San Jose.
Stalock has never played against the Predators. He’ll be looking to get his game going, as he’s 1-3-0 with a 3.65 goals-against average and .861 save percentage in his last four starts.
“It will be fun,” Stalock said. “It’s a chance for me to prove that I can play against the bigger and stronger teams. It will be a good test.”
Nashville has won five straight, but was shut out by Niemi and the Sharks, 2-0, on Dec. 13 at SAP Center.
"They’re up-tempo, lots of pace,” Dillon said. “They are really quick, like to make offensive plays, and backcheck as hard as they can.”
The Predators made a major trade on Sunday, acquiring defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli from Toronto for Olli Jokinen, a prospect and their 2015 first round pick.
Neither Franson nor Santorelli – both of whom have played for Nashville in the past – will suit up against the Sharks, though.