Programming note: Sharks-Blues coverage starts today at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live.
Where they stand
Sharks: 22-14-5, 49 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Blues: 24-13-3, 51 points, 3rd Central Division
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s overtime goal was the difference in a 4-3 Sharks win in Minnesota on Tuesday. Melker Karlsson tallied his third goal in three games, Joe Pavelski deposited his team-leading 21st, and Tommy Wingels scored for the first time in 14 games. Vlasic also scored with less than five seconds left for the game-winner on Monday in Winnipeg, as the Sharks will try and complete a perfect three-game road trip tonight in St. Louis. San Jose, 12-4-1 in its last 17 games, hosts the Rangers on Saturday.
Blues: David Backes paced the Blues with four goals in a dominant 6-0 win at Arizona on Tuesday. T.J. Oshie contributed three assists, and Brian Elliott logged the shutout with 23 saves. St. Louis is opening a seven-game homestand tonight after just completing a four-game road trip, which also included a 7-2 win in San Jose last Saturday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Patrick Marleau. The Sharks’ forward is still mired in a miserable scoring slump with one goal in his last 19 games, but he played particularly well in the second half of the win over Minnesota while skating a season high 25:55. Marleau remains at center with Joe Thornton still out, and could see plenty of the Blues’ David Backes line, which has been red hot.
Blues: T.J. Oshie. The former Team USA Olympian enters tonight on a six-game point streak, with 11 points over that span (5g, 6a). Named as the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday thanks in large part to his hat trick against the Sharks, the second of his career, Oshie assisted on three of the Blues’ six goals on Tuesday in Arizona.
Goals per game: 2.71 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.54 (13th)
Power play: 20.7 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 81.2 percent (14th)
Goals per game: 3.02 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.42 (8th)
Power play: 25.7 percent (1st)
Penalty kill: 79.6 percent (21st)
Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Barclay Goodrow – Patrick Marleau – Tommy Wingels
Tomas Hertl – James Sheppard – Matt Nieto
John Scott – Andrew Desjardins – Tye McGinn
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Matt Tennyson
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Alexander Steen – David Backes – T.J. Oshie
Jaden Schwartz – Jori Lehtera – Vladimir Tarasenko
Patrik Berglund – Paul Stastny – Dmitrij Jaskin
Steve Ott – Maxim Lapierre – Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson – Kevin Shattenkirk
Barret Jackman – Ian Cole
Brian Elliott (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Joe Thornton (left shoulder), Raffi Torres (right knee), Tyler Kennedy (left shoulder) and Mike Brown (broken right fibula) are out.
Blues: Chris Porter (leg) is out.
San Jose claimed a 3-2 overtime win over the Blues at home on Dec. 20, but the Blues responded with a commanding 7-2 victory over the Sharks at SAP Center last Saturday. Tonight is the third and final game of the season series.
The Sharks are 36-44-8 all-time against St. Louis.
Odds and ends
*Joe Thornton will miss his fourth straight game, but said he hopes to play Saturday against the Rangers.
*The Sharks’ power play is just 1-for-17 in the last three games with Thornton injured.
*St. Louis’ top line of Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie has combined for 29 points in the last six games, and 50 percent of the team’s goals over that span.
*Marc-Edouard Vlasic is just the third Sharks defenseman to have back-to-back game-winning goals.
*Kevin Shattenkirk is tied with Calgary’s Mark Giordano for the league lead in scoring among defensemen (35 points), and leads the NHL with 22 power play points.
“I hit it so hard, I didn’t see it go in.” – Marc-Edouard Vlasic on his overtime goal Tuesday night in Minnesota