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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, March 19th (All times eastern)

St. Louis Blues (32-30-9) at San Jose Sharks (41-23-8), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Even without the suspended Dany Heatley, the Sharks' offense didn't miss much of a beat last time out.

San Jose goes for a third straight victory both overall and against the St. Louis Blues this evening at HP Pavilion.

With Heatley serving the first of a two-game ban for a hit to the head of the Stars' Steve Ott on Tuesday, the Sharks matched a season high with 50 shots on net in Thursday's 3-2 win over the Wild. The triumph improved San Jose to 3-1-2 in its last six and 20-4-3 over its past 27.

Patrick Marleau scored the key goal on a power play five minutes into the third period, his team-leading 28th goal of the season and eighth game-winner.

"Nice to see him get it on the power play," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.

Jamal Mayers and Logan Couture also scored for San Jose, which is just one point ahead of idle Phoenix for first place in the Pacific Division and four points back of second-seeded Detroit with 10 games remaining.

Antti Niemi had 28 saves. He is 3-2-0 with a 2.83 goals-against average in his career versus the Blues.

The Sharks opened a three-game homestand without Heatley and the Blues won't mind him sitting out again tonight. Heatley scored twice when the Sharks and Blues last got together, a 4-2 home win for San Jose.

The Sharks have taken four of five and 12 of their last 16 overall versus the Blues, who have dropped six of their past seven trips to HP Pavilion.

St. Louis' playoff chances are getting fainter by the day, but the club kept a small spark going with Thursday's 4-0 rout of Los Angeles. Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and 14th of his career.

"There were some moments there where they had pressure around our net and he was big, he was at the top of his crease, he was challenging," said Blues head coach Davis Payne about his winning netminder.

Halak has split four career starts against the Sharks with a 2.52 GAA.

Matt D'Agostini scored twice and both Alex Pietrangelo and T.J. Oshie once each for the Blues, who snapped a two-game slide by winning for the fourth time in six games.

St. Louis, 1-1 on a four-game road trip, is currently 13th in the West and 10 points back of eighth-place Calgary with 11 games to go.

03/19 11:08:46 ET

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