Sharks-Flames coverage gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 13-10-4, 30 points, 5th Pacific Division
Flames: 17-8-2, 36 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Sharks: For the first time this season, the Sharks are riding a three-game winning streak in regulation into tonight’s game in Calgary. San Jose got two goals apiece from Joe Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Tyler Kennedy in a 7-4 win over Boston on Thursday to close out a six-game homestand (3-1-2). The Sharks visit Edmonton tomorrow, and are right back at home on Tuesday against the Oilers to open a five-game homestand. The Sharks bring an 8-6-2 road mark into tonight’s game.
Flames: Perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the NHL so far, Calgary has won its last four games and eight of its last 10. On Thursday against Colorado, Dennis Wideman scored twice in a 4-3 overtime victory over the Avalanche. Sean Monahan got the game-winner. Calgary has outscored the opposition 14-5 over its winning streak, which started with a 2-0 triumph in San Jose on Nov. 26. Calgary starts a four-game road trip in Toronto on Tuesday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Brent Burns. The Sharks defenseman played perhaps his best game in weeks in Thursday’s win over Boston, finishing with a pair of assists, a +2 rating and nine shot attempts in a season-high 26:40 of action. The 29-year-old has 21 points this season (7g, 14a), tied for second in the NHL among defenseman and trailing only the Flames’ Mark Girodano (27 points).
Flames: Johnny Gaudreau. The 21-year-old Calder Trophy candidate – listed at just five-foot-nine and 150 pounds – enters the game with 20 points (4g, 16a) in 26 games, including a three-game point streak (1g, 4a). A fourth round selection by the Flames in 2011, Gaudreau and fellow rookie Josh Jooris have helped to give Calgary a powerful attack.
Goals per game: 2.78 (12th)
Goals-against per game: 2.63 (17th)
Power play: 24.7 percent (3rd)
Penalty kill: 82.5 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 3.11 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.52 (11th)
Power play: 22.0 percent (7th)
Penalty kill: 75.8 percent (26th)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Barclay Goodrow – 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 (likely starter)
Curtis Glencross – Sean Monahan – David Jones
Johnny Gaudreau – Josh Jooris – Jiri Hudler
Michael Ferland – Markus Granlund – Paul Byron
Brandon Bollig – Matt Stajan – Lance Bouma
Mark Giordano – T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman
Ladislav Smid – Deryk Engelland
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee) and Matt Nieto (lower body) are out.
Flames: Mason Raymond (upper body), Joe Colborne (upper body), Matt Stajan (knee), and Mikael Backlund (abdomen) are on injured reserve.
Karri Ramo stopped all 32 shots he saw on Nov. 26, and Jiri Hudler scored both goals (including an empty-netter) in a 2-0 Flames win at SAP Center. The Sharks visit the Flames again on Feb. 4, while Calgary makes two more trips to the Bay Area – Jan. 17 and Feb. 9.
The Sharks are 42-48-13 all-time against Calgary. The Flames have won the last three.
Odds and ends
*Matt Nieto was ruled out for the game due to injury.
*The Sharks have been outscored 52-49 at even strength this season.
*Calgary has outscored its opponents 39-15 in the third period, and leads the NHL with six wins when trailing at the second intermission.
*Joe Pavelski’s seven power play goals are tied for the league lead (with three others).
*Scott Hannan played 78 games for Calgary in 2011-12, with 12 points and and 38 penalty minutes.
*Calgary’s defensemen have combined for an NHL-best 81 points.
*Logan Couture has 17 points in 16 games vs. the Flames (7g, 10a).
*Matt Irwin played his first NHL game on Jan. 20, 2013 at Calgary.
*Tommy Wingels and Patrick Marleau have three-game point streaks. Wingels has tallied three goals and four assists, while Marleau has five assists.
*When Mike Brown dresses, the Sharks are 5-0-0 and have outscored their opponents 22-9.
*Tonight’s game begins a stretch of 15 straight games for the Sharks against the Western Conference.
“It felt good to get those two goals and help the team. Hopefully I can get better every game, and that's my biggest focus is trying help the team and trying to get better every day.” – Tyler Kennedy, after scoring twice against the Bruins on Thursday