Programming note: Sharks-Maple Leafs coverage starts today at 4pm with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California.
Where they stand
Sharks: 15-14-1, 31 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Maple Leafs: 10-13-6, 26 points, 8th Atlantic Division
Sharks: Starting a five-game road trip in Montreal on Tuesday, the Sharks ended a six-game losing streak by beating the Canadiens, 3-1 at Bell Centre. The Sharks, who own the NHL’s second-best road record (11-5-1), visit Ottawa on Friday night in the second of a back-to-back.
Maple Leafs: Toronto dropped a 5-4 decision at home in overtime to the Lightning on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs, who have not lost in regulation in their last three games (2-0-1), close out a four-game homestand with the Kings on Saturday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Dainius Zubrus. The newcomer got a shot on the Joe Thornton line against the Canadiens, and gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead in the second period with his first goal in teal. Indications are Zubrus will get another shot on that line, also featuring leading scorer Joe Pavelski, against the Leafs. Perhaps the big winger can jumpstart Thornton and the Sharks’ offense, which still has just 12 goals in the last seven games (1.71 per game).
Maple Leafs: James van Riemsdyk. The former second overall pick, chosen by the Flyers right after Patrick Kane in 2007, leads Toronto with 19 points (9g, 10a). He’s averaging a point-per-game over his last eight games, including one goal and one assist against the Lightning on Tuesday.
Dainius Zubrus – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
Matt Nieto – Tomas Hertl – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Dylan DeMelo – Brenden Dillon
Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Shawn Matthias – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Joffrey Lupul
Michael Grabner – Peter Holland – Daniel Winnik
Nick Spaling – Byron Froese – Brad Boyes
Jake Gardiner – Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Frank Corrado – Roman Polak
Garret Sparks (confirmed starter)
Goals per game: 2.57 (15th)
Goals-against per game: 2.63 (18th)
Power play: 17.7 percent (21st)
Penalty kill: 81.9 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 2.24 (27th)
Goals-against per game: 2.66 (20th)
Power play: 18.7 percent (14th)
Penalty kill: 80.0 percent (19th)
Sharks: Justin Braun (undisclosed) and Tomas Hertl (lower body) are probable. Logan Couture (arterial bleeding in right thigh) and Ben Smith (concussion) are out.
Maple Leafs: Stephane Robidas (knee) and James Reimer (groin) are out.
Toronto will trek to SAP Center for a game on Jan. 9, the final game of a five-game homestand for San Jose.
The Sharks are 9-1-0 in the last 10 head-to-head meetings, including five straight wins, and are 5-0-1 in their last six trips to Air Canada Centre.
Odds and ends
*The Sharks are 12-1-0 when scoring first, and 3-13-1 when allowing the first goal. Their 13 regulation losses are the second-most in the NHL.
*The Sharks didn’t have a power play on Tuesday for the first time this season. They are 0-for-5 with a man advantage in their last three games, while the penalty kill is 27-for-30 over the last 12 games (90.0 percent).
*Seven Sharks players are from Ontario: Brent Burns (Barrie), Logan Couture (London), Dylan DeMelo (London), Barclay Goodrow (Toronto), Joe Thornton (London), Chris Tierney (Keswick) and Joel Ward (North York).