Sharks-Flames coverage gets underway at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 10-9-4, 24 points, 5th Pacific Division
Flames: 13-8-2, 28 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Sharks: The Sharks lost their second straight shootout game, 4-3 to Arizona on Saturday. Goals from Tommy Wingels (shorthanded) and Andrew Desjardins erased a 2-0 hole for San Jose while Joe Pavelski’s third period power play marker forced overtime, but the Coyotes secured the extra point in the tiebreaker. The Sharks are just 2-3-2 at home after having the Western Conference’s best home mark last season. The homestand continues with the Ducks on Saturday.
Flames: Calgary kicked off a three-game road trip with a 3-2 loss in Anaheim last night. The Flames got behind 3-0 in the third period but fought back on goals from T.J. Brodie and Jiri Hudler, while a Johnny Gaudreau marker that would have tied the game was disallowed after a lengthy review. The Flames have won four of their last six, although two came in a shootout. They visit Arizona on Saturday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Matt Nieto. After getting bumped to the fourth line and responding by helping to generate an Andrew Desjardins goal, Nieto is back up on the Logan Couture-Joe Pavelski line. The sophomore still hasn’t scored a goal since opening night on Oct. 8 in Los Angeles, but his assist against the Coyotes on Saturday ended an eight-game scoring drought.
Flames: Mark Giordano. The defenseman has already been mentioned as a possible Norris Trophy candidate, and has points in 12 of his last 13 games. Giordano is the NHL’s leading scorer among blueliners with 24 points (6g, 18a), and along with T.J. Brodie (18 points), forms an prolific top defense pair for the Flames.
Goals per game: 2.61 (18th)
Goals-against per game: 2.61 (15th)
Power play: 23.3 percent (4th)
Penalty kill: 82.6 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 3.04 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.74 (20th)
Power play: 20.0 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 73.8 percent (29th)
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Tomas Hertl
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
Brenden Dillon – Matt Tennyson
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Backup - Ryan Lowe
Curtis Glencross – Sean Monahan – Lance Bouma
Johnny Gaudreau – Markus Granlund – Jiri Hudler
Michael Ferland – Josh Jooris – Paul Byron
Brandon Bollig – Corban Knight – Sven Baertschi
Mark Giordano – T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman
Ladislav Smid – Deryk Engelland
Karri Ramo (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Mike Brown (left hand), Alex Stalock (lower body) and Troy Grosenick (upper body) are out.
Flames: Mason Raymond (upper body), Joe Colborne (upper body), Matt Stajan (knee), Mikael Backlund (abdomen) and David Jones (upper body) are on injured reserve.
The Sharks and Flames will meet for the first of five games tonight. San Jose makes its first visit to the Saddledome on Dec. 6.
San Jose is 42-47-13 all-time against Calgary. The Flames have won the last two games, after the Sharks had won the previous four.
Odds and ends
*The Sharks did not have a backup goaltender in town as of Wednesday morning. Troy Grosenick (upper body injury) and Alex Stalock (lower body injury) are both unavailable.
*Former Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi was waived by Calgary on Wednesday morning, going scoreless with a -7 rating in 12 games this season.
*Matt Tennyson, recalled by the Sharks on Monday, will be making his season debut. He played four games in the shortened 2013 season, but none last season.
*Logan Couture has 17 points (7g, 10a) in 16 career games vs. the Flames.
*The Sharks will play 17 of their next 19 games against the Western Conference, after 14 of their first 22 were vs. the Eastern Conference.
*Joe Pavelski scored his 200th career NHL goal on Saturday, becoming just the third Sharks player (Patrick Marleau, Owen Nolan) to have scored 200 or more goals in teal.
*Tommy Wingels’ shorthanded goal Saturday was the Sharks’ first of the season. It was his fourth career shorthanded tally.
*In his last three games, James Sheppard has won 67 percent of his faceoffs (22-for-33).
*Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie’s 18 points put him in a tie for third in the NHL amongst blueliners, and his +13 rating leads the team.
*Calgary has an NHL-best 32 third period goals. Their +18 in the final frame is also tops in the league.
“[SAP Center] always has been a tough place to play, so we have to live up to that expectation and keep that in other team’s minds when they come in.” – Patrick Marleau