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San Jose Sharks @ Pittsburgh Penguins 2/21/2019: lines, preview, how to watch

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NHL: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Who: San Jose Sharks (35-17-8; 78 points, 2nd place Pacific division) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (32-21-7; 71 points, 3rd place in Metropolitan division)

When: 7:00pm eastern

How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in the Pittsburgh viewing area, NBC Sports California out west and Sportsnet north of the border

Opponent Track: This is the first game of an east coast swing for San Jose, they lost 6-5 in OT to Boston on Monday night and are 1-1-1 in the last week of games played.

Pens Refresh: A win on Tuesday night means a modest two game winning streak for the Pens.

Season Series: The Sharks won the game in SJ by a score of 5-2 last month on Jan 15th.

SBN Team Counterpart: Fear the Fin

Tale of the tape

—The Sharks are a very good team in almost every metric, except for on very crucial and glaring weakness. They have terrible goaltending. Otherwise, they control shot possession very well, their special teams units are comfortably top-10 in the league and they score a ton of goals. Save for goalie play, they’re probably one of the best and most well-rounded teams in league.

—A .923 save% for the Pens at 5v5 is about as good as it’s ever been all season.

Player stats at a glance

via hockey db

—The Sharks have had good injury fortune, with 11 players having perfect attendance so far and their core rarely missing any games.

Burns and Karlsson’s assist numbers are comically high. You can tell they are excellent playmakers and in control of the puck a ton. What a great scouting report, eh?

Goalie help on the way?

With Martin Jones struggling, the Sharks may be about to acquire a veteran to help the down the stretch in Anaheim’s Ryan Miller. From Fear the Fin:

The 38-year-old Miller has taken a back up role since signing with the Anaheim Ducks in 2017. In 40 games with the Ducks, he has posted a .928 save percentage and an 18-8-7 record. With the Ducks’ win over the Washington Capitals on Monday night, Miller earned his 375th career win, the most of any American-born netminder in NHL history.

Miller started the 2017 season with a wrist injury that sidelined him for the first month of the season. He dealt with injury again this season, spraining his knee on Dec. 9 and only just returning against the Capitals. Still, it hasn’t appeared to slow him down. Miller posts the fifth best goals saved above average of back up goaltenders, with a 3.07 GSAA (comparatively, Aaron Dell is a -3.12 and Martin Jones is a -13.06).

Miller’s having a strong season but is he a guy who is going to play strong all playoff long? Seems lie a big ask, but there’s not too many sure answers out there and it definitely feels like SJ has to do SOMETHING before the deadline on Monday.

Possible Lines (from Monday’s game)

Timo Meier - Logan Couture - Joe Pavelski

Evander Kane - Tomas Hertl - Joonas Donskoi

Marcus Sorenson - Joe Thornton - Kevin Leblanc

Barclay Goodrow - Dylan Gambrell - Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic / Erik Karlsson

Radim Simek / Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon / Justin Braun

Injured Reserve: none

And now for the Pens

Check the game notes, eh bud?

Infographic courtesy of the Penguins:

Possible Lines

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese-Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Jared McCann- Nick Bjugstad - Patric Hornqvist

Tanner Pearson- Matt Cullen- Dominik Simon

Brian Dumoulin / Kris Letang

Jack Johnson / Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson / Chad Ruhwedel

Expected scratches: Juuso Riikola , Garrett Wilson Teddy Blueger(healthy)

Injured Reserve: Olli Maatta (upper body, IR)

—The Pens were off yesterday, so we’ll project the same lineup as last time unless the morning gameday skate offers any changs.

Eye on the Standings

A pretty quiet day yesterday, though NYI losing is a rare treat. The Islanders are 5-7 points up on Pittsburgh currently (depending on how their game in hand goes), which is likely - though not definitely - a hill too tough to climb. The Capitals being two points up with the same number of games and a fading Columbus team may just mean the annual Pens/Caps playoff series could be looking early this year in the first round.

But, San Jose is up next and first things first will be getting through this tough challenge.