Programming note: Sharks-Red Wings coverage starts tonight at 7pm with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California.
Where they stand
Sharks: 18-17-2, 38 points, 6th Pacific Division
Red Wings: 20-13-7, 47 points, 3rd Atlantic Division
Sharks: It's been five days since the Sharks dropped a 4-1 decision to Winnipeg on Saturday at home, with Brent Burns’ power play marker their only score. San Jose has lost five of its last six home games, where it is an NHL-worst 5-11-0 overall. A five-game homestand concludes with Toronto on Saturday afternoon.
Red Wings: A first period score by Dylan Larkin was the only goal in a 1-0 win by the Red Wings on Monday in New Jersey. Petr Mrazek made 22 saves to record his second shutout. Detroit will be playing the third of six straight games on the road, continuing with stops in Anaheim, Los Angeles and Arizona.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Sharks’ best defensive defenseman has hit a rough patch lately with partner Justin Braun, with a -5 rating over his last six games that doesn’t even include the four power play goals Colorado scored with him on the ice on Dec. 28. A deep Red Wings forward group presents a challenge for Vlasic, Braun and the rest of the blue line on Thursday.
Red Wings: Dylan Larkin. The first teenager to make the Red Wings out of training camp since 1990, the 19-year-old forward has burst on the scene this season with 14 goals and 27 points, placing him second on the team in scoring behind only Henrik Zetterberg. Larkin brings a three-game point streak (1g, 2a) into Thursday’s game.
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Tomas Hertl – Tommy Wingels
Joonas Donskoi – Dainius Zubrus – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Justin Abdelkader – Henrik Zetterberg – Gustav Nyquist
Darren Helm – Pavel Datsyuk – Tomas Tatar
Dylan Larkin – Riley Sheahan – Brad Richards
Joakim Andersson – Luke Glendening – Drew Miller
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Dan DeKeyser – Alexey Marchenko
Brendan Smith – Mike Green
Goals per game: 2.70 (11th)
Goals-against per game: 2.86 (25th)
Power play: 21.8 percent (6th)
Penalty kill: 81.0 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 2.50 (20th)
Goals-against per game: 2.60 (14th)
Power play: 18.1 percent (22nd)
Penalty kill: 79.4 percent (20th)
Red Wings: Tomas Jurco (upper body) is questionable. Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (right ankle), Teemu Pulkkinen (dislocated shoulder) are out.
The Sharks snuck past Detroit at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 13, 3-2, with Joe Pavelski tallying the game-winner. It was the opening game of a six-game road trip in which San Jose went a perfect 6-0-0.
Odds and ends
*Joe Thornton has an eight-game point streak (3g, 8a).
*Alex Stalock was recalled from the AHL after starting the last two games for the Barracuda, where he stopped 53 of 57 shots (.930 save percentage).
*Chris Tierney remains with the Barracuda after he was reassigned on Sunday.