Programming note : Sharks-Panthers coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California.
Where they stand
Sharks: 10-9-2, 22 points, 5th Pacific Division
Panthers: 6-5-5, 17 points, 7th Atlantic Division
Sharks: The Sharks lost 4-1 in Buffalo on Tuesday, concluding their seven-game road trip with a 3-4-0 record. Brent Burns’ power play goal was the only scoring for San Jose, while Joe Thornton extended his point streak to seven games with an assist on the score. Buffalo has won just three games in regulation, with two coming against the Sharks. San Jose begins a stretch tonight of 11 of its next 13 at home, and 21 of its next 30. The Sharks are 2-3-0 at SAP Center this season in a league-low five games.
Panthers: Florida lost to the Kings in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 5-2. After a scoreless first period, the Kings scored four straight second period goals to win rather comfortably. The Panthers got two scores in the third period by Jimmy Hayes and Jussi Jokinen, while Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 25 shots to suffer the loss. The Panthers are in the midst of a four-game road trip that began with a 6-2 win in Anaheim on Sunday, and concludes in Nashville on Saturday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Patrick Marleau. The Sharks’ all-time leading scorer was seemingly called out by Todd McLellan after Sunday’s loss for producing just one power play goal – and zero at even strength – over his last 16 games. Marleau began the season with four goals in his first five games, but has just one assist and a -4 rating over his last six.
Panthers: Jussi Jokinen. The Panthers’ forward extended his point streak to four games with a goal in Los Angeles on Thursday. He has one goal and five assists over that span, and is Florida’s leading scorer with 12 points (2g, 10a). Jokinen signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Panthers in the offseason.
Goals per game: 2.62 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.62 (16th)
Power play: 22.7 percent (7th)
Penalty kill: 83.9 percent (9th)
Goals per game: 2.19 (28th)
Goals-against per game: 2.50 (11th)
Power play: 16.4 percent (21st)
Penalty kill: 76.9 percent (24th)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Patrick Marleau
Matt Nieto – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Barclay Goodrow – James Sheppard – Tommy Wingels
Tye McGinn – Andrew Desjardins – Tyler Kennedy
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brent Burns
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Jonathan Huberdeau – Nick Bjugstad – Brad Boyes
Jussi Jokinen – Vincent Trocheck – Jimmy Hayes
Tomas Kopecky – Rocco Grimaldi – Scottie Upshall
Tomas Fleischmann – Derek MacKenzie – Shawn Thornton
Willie Mitchell – Aaron Ekblad
Brian Campbell – Colby Robak
Dylan Olsen – Erik Gudbranson
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Mike Brown (left hand) and Alex Stalock (lower body) are out.
Panthers: Dave Bolland (lower body) and Brandon Pirri (concussion) are on injured reserve. Sean Bergenheim (lower body), Dmitry Kulikov (knee) and Aleksander Barkov (illness) are day-to-day.
The Panthers skated to a 4-1 win over San Jose a little more than a week ago on Nov. 11 in Florida. Four different Panthers scored goals, while 2014 number one overall draft pick Aaron Ekblad notched a pair of assists. Roberto Luongo beat Antti Niemi in goal, with the latter allowing four goals on 30 shots.
The Sharks are 10-9-8 all-time against the Panthers, while Florida is 6-1-0 in the last seven head-to-head matchups.
Odds and ends
*Rookie Troy Grosenick started the last two games for San Jose in goal (1-1-0), his first two NHL starts.
*Florida has recorded three straight wins at SAP Center.
*The Sharks recorded a franchise-record 29 shots on Roberto Luongo in the third period of a Sharks-Panthers game on March 18, 2014, but lost 3-2.
*Luongo is currently tied with Roy Worters (1925-37) for 13th among all-time NHL goaltenders with 67 shutouts.
*San Jose has already played 39 percent of its road games.
*Tommy Wingels is fifth in the NHL in hits with 73.
*Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell played 20 games for the Sharks in 2007-08, recording 19 points (3-16-19).
*Campbell has played 239 consecutive games dating back to Mar. 23, 2011.
*The Panthers have recorded 19 goals in their last five contests, including a season-high six on Sunday in Anaheim.
*Aaron Ekblad ranks first in scoring among rookie defensemen and third in ice time (21:46 per game).
“Just dumb hockey. You don't win at any level playing like that and you don't beat any type of team playing like that.” – Todd McLellan, after Tuesday’s loss in Buffalo