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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, October 21st (All times eastern)

San Jose Sharks (3-3-1) at Columbus Blue Jackets (1-5-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets try to put the brakes on a three- game slide this evening when they open a five-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena.

Columbus' latest setback came on Sunday, as it dropped a 3-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings. Nikolai Zherdev scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who have just one win through six games this season.

Marc Denis made 28 saves in the loss.

Columbus, which has tallied a league-low 11 goals this season, continues to play without left wing Rick Nash and rookie center Gilbert Brule, the sixth overall pick in the 2005 draft.

Nash, who had 41 goals in 2003-04 season, is expected to miss at least 10 more days with a sprained right ankle, while Brule will be shelved for at least a month with a fractured sternum.

The Blue Jackets, who will also host Detroit twice, Nashville and Minnesota on this stand, are 0-1-0 in their own arena this season.

San Jose, meanwhile, also comes into tonight's tilt riding a losing streak after getting routed by the Minnesota Wild, 6-1, on Wednesday. Niko Dimitrakos had the Sharks' only goal in the loss.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 19 of 25 shots for the Sharks, who lost their second straight game after winning three straight. Nabokov, though, could get the Sharks back on track tonight, as he has posted an 11-2 mark with three shutouts and a 1.48 goals-against average in 13 starts versus the Blue Jackets.

San Jose, which will be playing the third leg of a season-long six-game road trip this evening, is 1-3-1 away from home this season.

The Sharks defeated the Blue Jackets earlier in the season and have won three straight, five of six and nine of the last 11 meetings in this series.

10/21 10:20:48 ET

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