Programming note: Devils-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live (territory restrictions apply)
Where they stand
Sharks: 24-16-6, 54 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Devils: 16-22-8, 40 points, 7th Metropolitan Division
Sharks: The Sharks erased an early two-goal deficit at home to Calgary on Saturday, but lost in overtime, 4-3. Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Melker Karlsson scored in the loss, as San Jose dropped to 1-0-1 on its seven-game homestand. Antti Niemi, making his 13th start in the last 15 games, fell to 18-11-5 with four goals allowed on 23 shots. San Jose plays its final game before the All-Star break vs. the Kings on Wednesday.
Devils: New Jersey will play the third and final game of a swing through California tonight. The Devils beat the Kings last Wednesday, 5-3, but lost to the Ducks on Saturday, 5-1, and were outshot 40-15 in the process. Marty Havlat was the lone scorer with a power play goal. The Devils, whose All-Star break begins after tonight’s game, are 3-4-1 in their last eight.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Joe Pavelski. The Sharks star winger had three points in the Sharks’ 4-2 over the Devils on Oct. 18, and as the likely future captain of the team, look for Pavelski to try to set the tone early after the Sharks’ lifeless start in the loss to the Flames. The 30-year-old has been one of the few consistent performers for the Sharks since the Christmas break, with six goals and five assists in the last 11 games. He leads the team with 40 points.
Devils: Marty Havlat. There won’t be any Dan Boyle-style video tributes for Havlat, whom the Sharks decided to buy out over the summer after three unproductive seasons. As disappointing as his run in teal was, Havlat actually had some decent games against his former teams, including scoring five of his 18 points in 2013 against the Wild. Perhaps he’ll be motivated against the Sharks, too, and enters tonight with three points in his last five games (2g, 1a).
Goals per game: 2.67 (18th)
Goals-against per game: 2.63 (17th)
Power play: 21.1 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 81.9 percent (13th)
Goals per game: 2.17 (28th)
Goals-against per game: 2.74 (20th)
Power play: 20.6 percent (9th)
Penalty kill: 79.0 percent (24th)
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Matt Nieto – Tomas Hertl – Tyler Kennedy
Andrew Desjardins – James Sheppard – Tye McGinn
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan
Alex Stalock (likely starter)
Patrik Elias – Travis Zajac – Marty Havlat
Adam Henrique – Scott Gomez – Steve Bernier
Dainius Zubrus – Mike Cammallleri – Michael Ryder
Joe Whitney – Tim Sestito – Jordin Tootoo
Andy Greene – Adam Larsson
Jon Merrill – Marek Zidlicky
Mark Fraser – Peter Harrold
Cory Schneider (likely starter)
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Mike Brown (broken right fibula), and Mirco Mueller (wrist) are out.
Devils: Stephen Gionta (hand), Tuomo Ruutu (illness), Bryce Salvador (lower body), Damon Severson (ankle), Ryane Clowe (concussion) and Jaromir Jagr (illness) are out.
The Sharks and Devils met early in the season, with San Jose claiming a 4-2 win at Prudential Center on Oct. 18. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each had one goal and two assists, and Antti Niemi made 35 saves.
All-time, the Sharks are 13-15-4 against the Devils.
Odds and ends
*Melker Karlsson has six goals in the last eight games.
*Joe Thornton’s 10 goals is only one off his total for last season (11).
*San Jose is seventh in the NHL in face-off percentage (51.9 percent), and has won more than 50 percent in 21 of the last 26 games.
*The Sharks are 11-for-11 on the penalty kill in their last four games, and 3-for-10 on the power play.
*New Jersey is 4-8-3 against the Western Conference.
*Patrik Elias, the Devils’ lone All-Star, has one assist in each of the last three games, and seven points (2g, 5a) in the last six games. His next goal will be the 400th of his career.
*Cory Schneider leads the league with 40 starts in net. He’s 3-5-1 with a 3.55 GAA and .896 SP in nine career games against the Sharks.
“We got what we deserved. We’re probably fortunate we got that. The start was unacceptable, to a man. There are nights where we don’t execute or we’re a little bit sloppy, but sometimes it’s only half the team. Tonight it was a full team.” – Todd McLellan, after Saturday’s overtime loss to Calgary