Programming note: Sharks-Jets coverage starts today at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live.
Where they stand
Sharks: 34-27-8, 76 points, 5th Pacific Division
Jets: 34-23-12, 80 points, 5th Central Division
San Jose is five points behind Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division, and five points behind Los Angeles for the second wild card spot. The Sharks, Flames and Kings all have 13 games remaining.
Sharks: Chicago scored four goals in the third period to pull away from the Sharks, beating them 6-2 at SAP Center on Saturday afternoon. Melker Karlsson and Joe Thornton scored for San Jose, which finished its homestand with a 2-2-0 mark. The Sharks are opening up a seven-game road trip tonight that continues against six Eastern Conference teams, including Toronto on Thursday. Ten of their final 13 games are on the road.
Jets: Winnipeg completed a four-game road trip by squeaking out a 2-1 win in Tampa Bay on Saturday, behind goals from Drew Stafford and Blake Wheeler. The Jets play eight of their final 13 games at home, where they are 4-1-3 in their last eight. A win tonight would put them back in playoff position, ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Melker Karlsson. The Sharks rookie has one goal in three of the last five games, giving him 12 on the season in 40 games. Karlsson’s hot streak has come at a good time, as linemate and leading scorer Joe Pavelski enters with just one goal in his last 12 games. Karlsson also scored on Jan. 5 against the Jets, in San Jose’s only other trip to MTS Centre.
Jets: Blake Wheeler. The Jets forward brings a four-game point streak into tonight’s game, with 3 goals and 3 assists over that span. His 32 assists are tied with Andrew Ladd for the team lead, and his +17 rating is the best mark on the club. The 28-year-old, who played in his 500th career game in January, led the Jets in scoring in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Goals per game: 2.75 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.72 (22nd)
Power play: 22.0 percent (5th)
Penalty kill: 79.5 percent (24th)
Goals per game: 2.68 (17th)
Goals-against per game: 2.62 (16th)
Power play: 18.0 percent (18th)
Penalty kill: 81.0 percent (18th)
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Matt Nieto
Tomas Hertl – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels
John Scott – Ben Smith – Barclay Goodrow
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Brent Burns
Scott Hannan – Brenden Dillon
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Andrew Ladd – Adam Lowry – Michael Frolik
Drew Stafford – Mark Schiefele – Blake Wheeler
Jiri Tlusty – Jim Slater – Lee Stempniak
Chris Thorburn – Eric O’Dell – Matt Halischuk
Adam Pardy – Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Toby Enstrom – Tyler Myers
Ondrej Pavalec (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee surgery) and Mike Brown (broken right fibula) are out.
Jets: Dustin Byfuglien (upper body) is questionable. Bryan Little (undisclosed), Paul Postma (lower body), Grant Clitsome (back), Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Ben Chiarot (broken hand) are out.
The Sharks are 2-0 against the Jets this season. Alex Stalock led them to a 3-0 shutout win in the home opener on Oct. 11, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s late third period goal was the difference in a 3-2 victory on Jan. 5 at MTS Centre.
All-time, the Sharks are 13-2-4 against Winnipeg/Atlanta.
“The first one is huge, we’d like to get off to a good start for this seven-gamer. A team that’s in front of us by four points, so it’s an important start and important road trip.” – Joe Thornton