Sharks-Flames coverage gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 24-16-5, 53 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Flames: 23-18-3, 49 points, 5th Pacific Division
Sharks: The Sharks got goals from Tyler Kennedy and Patrick Marleau, and Tommy Wingels added an empty-netter in a 3-1 home win over Toronto on Thursday in the first of a seven-game homestand. Marleau’s marker was his first in 17 games, while Wingels scored for the second time in his last 18. San Jose is 4-2-0 in its last six games, and after tonight has two games left before the All-Star break, including a visit Monday from Marty Havlat and the Devils.
Flames: The Flames skated to a 4-1 win in Arizona on Thursday, their sixth win in the last nine games (6-3-0). David Jones scored the game-winner, one of three Calgary goals in the third period, while 23-year-old goalie Joni Ortio won his second straight start after shutting out Vancouver on Jan. 10. The Flames visit Los Angeles and Anaheim next week as they conclude a five-game trip before the break.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Tyler Kennedy. The 28-year-old forward opened the scoring in the first period against the Maple Leafs with his fourth goal of the season. Kennedy was playing in his second game after a shoulder injury suffered in Calgary on Dec. 6 forced him to miss 15 straight. He was playing well just before that injury, including a two-goal game against Boston on Dec. 4, so perhaps Kennedy will pick up where he left off.
Flames: Mikael Backlund. The Swedish center has scored one goal in each of his last four games, including the Flames’ first goal in Arizona on Thursday, after missing 29 straight with an abdominal injury. Backlund, who didn’t play in either of the first two Sharks-Flames meetings, has 10 points (5g, 5a) in 15 games this season.
Goals per game: 2.67 (19th)
Goals-against per game: 2.60 (16th)
Power play: 20.7 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 81.6 percent (14th)
Goals per game: 2.82 (11th)
Goals-against per game: 2.59 (15th)
Power play: 17.6 percent (19th)
Penalty kill: 76.2 percent (26th)
Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Matt Nieto
Tye McGinn – Tomas Hertl – Tyler Kennedy
Barclay Goodrow – James Sheppard – Tommy Wingels
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Matt Tennyson
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Lance Bouma – Sean Monahan – David Jones
Johnny Gaudreau – Mikael Backlund – Jiri Hudler
Mason Raymond – Drew Shore – Joe Colborne
Brandon Bollig – Matt Stajan – Paul Byron
Mark Giordano – T.J. Brodie
Dennis Wideman – Kris Russell
Raphael Diaz – Deryk Engelland
Joni Ortio (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Mike Brown (broken right fibula), and Mirco Mueller (wrist) are out.
Flames: Curtis Glencross (lower body) is doubtful. Karri Ramo (upper body) and Josh Jooris (wrist) are on injured reserve.
The Sharks and Flames have split the first two meetings, with each team winning in the other’s building. Calgary won 2-0 on Nov. 26, while the Sharks claimed a 3-2 win at the Saddledome on Dec. 6. Jiri Hudler leads all scorers with three points (2g, 1a) in the two games, while Antti Niemi and Kari Ramo have manned the crease for both.
The clubs meet again on Feb. 4 in Calgary, while the Flames visit SAP Center again on Feb. 9.
All-time, the Sharks are 43-48-13 vs. Calgary, including an 11-4-2 mark in the last 17.
Odds and ends
*Brent Burns played a season-high 27:03 on Thursday against the Maple Leafs, recording two shots on goal and a +1 rating.
*Burns is third in the NHL in scoring among defensemen with 35 points. Calgary’s Mark Giordano is second (37).
*The Sharks are 9-for-9 on the penalty kill in their last three games.
*James Sheppard has one goal in his last 30 games.
*Johnny Gaudreau has a point in six straight road games (5g, 3a).
*Calgary has not had to kill a penalty in either of its last two games, and has been shorthanded just five times in its last five games.
“Obviously we know where [the Flames] are in the standings. It’s a massive game. We’re getting to the point in the season, especially this stretch for our team, where we need wins. It’s been nice to get a couple in a row but we’re not satisfied with that. We need to go on a little streak here.” – Logan Couture