NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, November 20th
(All times eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (11-6-0) at San Jose Sharks (9-5-4), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It's been over two weeks since the San Jose Sharks lost a
game in regulation. They have never done so when facing the Columbus Blue
Jackets at home.
The Sharks try to extend their seven-game points streak and record a 12th
straight home victory over the Blue Jackets this evening at HP Pavilion, the
first battle between the clubs on North American soil this year.
San Jose is 4-0-3 over its last seven games since a 2-0 setback in St. Louis
on Nov. 4. The club had a three-game winning streak halted with Wednesday's
4-3 overtime setback in Colorado before dropping a 5-4 overtime decision in
Dallas the following night.
Patrick Marleau scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season and Joe
Pavelski notched his sixth, but the Sharks blew a two-goal third-period lead
for a second straight game. Antti Niemi made 36 saves in defeat.
"Not much you can say," said Sharks forward Ryane Clowe. "Tonight it was even
worse, I think. Five minutes left we were totally in control, playing pretty
solid. Two shifts in a row, you know, it's just ... four out of five goals for
them tonight, or actually five, came right on top of our crease."
After consecutive road defeats, the Sharks return home for back-to-back games
having won three straight at HP Pavilion and going 6-0-1 in their last seven
San Jose and Columbus are meeting for the first time since splitting a two-
game set in Sweden to begin the year. The Sharks have won four of six and nine
of the last 13 meetings overall and are 17-0-1 all-time at home versus the
Blue Jackets, who haven't won in San Jose since Jan. 8, 2004 in overtime.
The Blue Jackets seem like they are in good shape to snap that slide tonight.
They have won the first two games of a three-game road trip and bring a 6-1
mark as the road club into this contest.
Steve Mason made 47 saves in last night's 4-3 victory in Anaheim, while Rick
Nash scored for the sixth time in his last six games played. He had a pair of
goals in Wednesday's victory at Los Angeles.
Chris Clark, Jakub Voracek and Mike Commodore also scored for Columbus, which
has won eight of its last 11 games overall.
"Obviously it's another road win -- we found a way to get it done," said
Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "I know that it was ugly in the third, we
were really scrambling there. But all in all we found a way to win the hockey
Nash has 12 goals and 18 points in 27 career games versus the Sharks.
11/20 10:40:05 ET