Programming note: Sharks-Blue Jackets coverage gets underway at 7 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 4-2-1, 9 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Blue Jackets: 3-2-0, 6 points, 6th Metropolitan Division
Sharks: No team has played fewer home games than the Sharks, who (along with Minnesota) have skated in their own arena just once. The Sharks just completed a five-game road trip in which they gained five of a 10 possible points (2-2-1), but lost the last two games in regulation in New York and Boston by a combined 9-3 score. San Jose shouldn’t get too comfortable at SAP Center, either, because after Saturday’s afternoon tilt against Buffalo it embarks on a weeklong trip starting in Anaheim on Sunday and continuing on to Colorado and Minnesota.
Blue Jackets: Columbus should be well rested, having not playing since last Saturday’s 3-2 loss in Ottawa. Nick Foligno and David Savard scored just 41 seconds apart in the second period, and the Blue Jackets outshot the Sens 40-35, but it wasn’t enough. The Blue Jackets will venture south to Anaheim tomorrow and Los Angeles on Sunday to complete their only swing through California.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Tomas Hertl. The sophomore forward hasn't been able to duplicate his start from a year ago, and has just two points - both goals - through the first seven games. Perhaps even more concerning is that Hertl has just eight shots on goal, despite averaging 16 minutes and 34 seconds a night. Hertl has been removed from the Joe Thornton line, and will likely have to earn his way back up to a top six role.
Blue Jackets: Ryan Johansen. Despite an ugly offseason contract dispute and lack of training camp, Johansen enters tonight’s game with a five-game point streak and leads Columbus with seven points overall (3g, 4a). The top line center has recorded at least one point in 10 straight regular season games, dating back to last season, and has four goals in eight career games vs. the Sharks.
Goals per game: 3.14 (T – 8th)
Goals-against per game: 2.71 (16th)
Power play: 23.1 percent (11th)
Penalty kill: 75.0 percent (23rd)
Goals per game: 3.00 (T -10th)
Goals-against per game: 2.40 (13th)
Power play: 15.0 percent (19th)
Penalty kill: 100.0 percent (T – 1st)
Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton – Matt Nieto
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Tomas Hertl – James Sheppard – Eriah Hayes
Tye McGinn - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Brent Burns
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Scott Hartnell – Ryan Johansen – Nick Foligno
Mark Letestu – Artem Anisimov – Jack Skille
Matt Calvert – Alexander Wennberg – Cam Atkinson
Adam Cracknell – Michael Chaput – Jared Boll
Jack Johnson – David Savard
Tm Erixon – James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin – Cody Goloubef
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Tyler Kennedy (upper body), Barclay Goodrow (left hand), and Mike Brown (left hand) are out.
Blue Jackets: Nathan Horton (back), Ryan Murray (knee), Boone Jenner (broken hand), Brandon Dubinsky (lower body), and Curtis McElhinney (head) are out. Marko Dano (undisclosed) is questionable.
The Sharks are 32-13-4 all-time against Columbus. They will make their only visit there on Nov. 15.
“It could have been a really good road trip with a win tonight, but we’ll have to get better.” – Patrick Marleau, after the 5-3 loss in Boston on Tuesday