Programming note: Sharks-Bruins coverage gets underway at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 12-10-4, 28 points, 5th Pacific Division
Bruins: 14-11-1, 29 points, 5th Atlantic Division
Sharks: For just the second time, the Sharks have won back-to-back games in regulation with home victories over Anaheim and Philadelphia. On Tuesday against the Flyers, Marc-Edouard Vlasic tied the game at 1-1 in the second period while Matt Nieto’s marker with 11.5 seconds left in the third period earned San Jose the two points. The Sharks are 2-1-2 on a six-game homestand that concludes tonight. They visit Calgary on Saturday and Edmonton on Sunday, and return home to face the Oilers again on Tuesday, kicking off another five in a row at SAP Center.
Bruins: Boston is 0-2-0 on a four-game road trip after losing to the Kings and Ducks earlier this week. Jonathan Quick’s 31 saves helped Los Angeles to a 2-0 shutout of the Bruins on Tuesday, including an empty-net goal, as Boston wasted a 33-save effort by Nikas Svedberg in net. The road trip concludes on Saturday at Arizona.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Tomas Hertl. The Sharks sophomore forward has been steadily improving in recent weeks, and is back up on the wing of the Joe Thornton line. Hertl has 12 shots on goal in his last three games, and his six shot attempts against the Flyers on Tuesday led the team. The Sharks will need guys like Hertl and Matt Nieto (two goals in the last two games) to start producing on a more consistent basis if they’re going to climb in the standings.
Bruins: Brad Marchand. The Bruins’ agitator has 12 points in 23 games (6g, 6a) while playing as a top line wing with center Patrice Bergeron. Marchand is second on the Bruins with 26 penalty minutes, and his +4 rating is tied for the team lead. In six career games against the Sharks, though, Marchand has just one goal and two penalty minutes.
Goals per game: 2.62 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.58 (15th)
Power play: 23.5 percent (5th)
Penalty kill: 82.0 percent (14th)
Goals per game: 2.35 (23rd)
Goals-against per game: 2.42 (9th)
Power play: 17.7 percent (18th)
Penalty kill: 80.0 percent (19th)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Matt Nieto – James Sheppard – Tyler Kennedy
John Scott – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Scott Hannan
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Milan Lucic – Carl Soderberg – Loui Eriksson
Reilly Smith – Chris Kelly – Matt Fraser
Daniel Paille – Greg Campbell – Simon Gagne
Dennis Seidenberg – Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski – Kevan Miller
Torey Krug – Zach Trotman
Tuukka Rask (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Logan Couture (head) is questionable. Raffi Torres (right knee) and Troy Grosenick (upper body) are out.
Bruins: Zdeno Chara (left knee), Adam McQuaid (broken thumb), David Krejci (hip) and David Warsofsky (groin strain) are out.
The Bruins won the first and only other game of the season series at TD Garden on Oct. 21, 5-3. Torey Krug led Boston with one goal and two assists, while Logan Couture scored twice in a losing effort as the Sharks wrapped up a five-game East Coast swing.
San Jose is 9-16-6 all-time vs. Boston, including a 5-3-1 mark since Joe Thornton was traded in 2005.
The Bruins have won their last three games against the Sharks.
Odds and ends
*Tyler Kennedy has been activated off of injured reserve after missing the last two games with a lower body injury.
*Joe Thornton has two goals and three assists in nine games against his former team.
*Patrick Marleau recorded his first NHL assist on Oct. 11, 1997 vs. Boston.
*In Tuesday’s win over the Flyers, Matt Nieto became the seventh player to score a game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation this season, and the first at home.
*After tonight, San Jose will play 15 straight games against the Western Conference.
*The Bruins have allowed 15 goals over their last eight games (1.84 GAA).
*Boston has scored just 15 goals in the last 10 games, and has scored two or fewer in nine of 10.
*In his last five games, James Sheppard has won 65.7 percent of his faceoffs (44-for-67).
“It gives us confidence getting two wins in a row. We wanted to get something going at home. Get two wins in a row on the road or at home, we haven’t done that in over a month. It’s good to get that and guys feel good about themselves now.” – Marc-Edouard Vlasic, after Tuesday’s win over Philadelphia