Sharks-Blue Jackets coverage gets underway at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 9-7-2, 20 points, 5th Pacific Division
Blue Jackets: 5-10-1, 11 points, 8th Metropolitan Division
Sharks: San Jose improved to 2-2 on its seven-game road trip with a 2-1 win in Tampa Bay on Thursday. Joe Thornton opened the scoring while Tyler Kennedy’s first goal in 30 games in the second period was the game-winner. Antti Niemi stopped 32 shots to end a personal three-game losing skid, and the Sharks’ penalty kill came through during a long five-on-three in the third period to help preserve the victory.
Blue Jackets: Columbus put an end to its nine-game losing streak (0-8-1) by beating the Flyers in Philadelphia last night, 4-3. Ryan Johansen assisted on all four goals, three of which came on the power play. James Wisniewski and Nick Foligno each had two goals, as the Jackets won for the first time since Oct. 23 in San Jose. Curtis McElhinney secured the win in net with 24 saves.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Tommy Wingels. The forward had six shots on goal on Thursday in Tampa Bay, skating on yet another newly formed Sharks third line with James Sheppard and Barclay Goodrow. Wingels has just one assist in his last five games, but indications are he’ll break out of that mini-scoring slump shortly.
Blue Jackets: Scott Hartnell. The Blue Jackets’ third-leading scorer, Hartnell has five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 16 games. The agitating forward posted a career-high four assists against the Sharks on Oct. 23, and recently recorded a pair of two-goal games on Nov. 7 and 8.
Goals per game: 2.83 (T - 10th)
Goals-against per game: 2.72 (18th)
Power play: 24.1 percent (6th)
Penalty kill: 83.6 percent (13th)
Goals per game: 2.62 (18th)
Goals-against per game: 3.62 (30th)
Power play: 24.2 percent (5th)
Penalty kill: 75.0 percent (27th)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Matt Nieto
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)
Brian Gibbons – Ryan Johansen – Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell – Boone Jenner – Cam Atkinson
Alexander Wennberg – Artem Anisimov – Adam Cracknell
Corey Tropp – Michael Chaput – Jared Boll
Jack Johnson – David Savard
Tim Erixon – James Wisniewski
Frederic St. Denis – Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Mike Brown (left hand) and Alex Stalock (lower body) are out.
Blue Jackets: Fedor Tyutin (lower body) is out. Nathan Horton (back), Brandon Dubinsky (lower body), Mark Letestu (groin), Ryan Murray (knee) and Cody Goloubef (knee) are on injured reserve. Matt Calvert (undisclosed) and Jack Skille (undisclosed) are day-to-day.
Odds and ends
Logan Couture attended the 2007 NHL Draft at Nationwide Arena and was selected by the Sharks with the ninth overall selection. … Joe Thornton sits tied for 42nd all-time on the NHL scoring list with 1210 points, tied with Bobby Clarke. … Former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky was activated from injured reserve yesterday and is expected to play for the first time since Oct. 26. He has 99 career wins. … Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards served as an asst. coach with San Jose in 2008-09 …The Blue Jackets have three power play goals in two of their last three games. … Columbus has accumulated 110 man games lost to injury/illness in their first 16 games. … The Blue Jackets have yet to have a game decided by the shootout, the lone team in the NHL to not play in a shootout this season.
Columbus scored a pair of late third period goals to win the first and only other matchup of the season series on Oct. 23, 5-4. Mark Letestu’s goal at 19:39 of the third period was the difference.
The Sharks are 32-13-4 all-time against Columbus, but the Blue Jackets are 5-1-1 in the last seven.
“We felt like we disappointed ourselves in Florida last game, so we wanted to rebound tonight and get back to it. We played hard all night.” – Joe Thornton, after the win in Tampa Bay on Thursday