When: 10:00 p.m. eastern.
How to Watch: AT&T Sportsnet in the Pittsburgh viewing area, NBCS-California
Opponent Track: Last week the Sharks went on an eastern swing, losing all 4 of their games, all to Pens’ rivals (@NJD, @NJR, @NYI, @PHI). But SJ bounced back on Thursday night at home to win 3-2 in OT against the Devils.
Pens path ahead: Pittsburgh has to get back to the east quickly after this game, Ottawa will be in the ‘Burgh on Tuesday to kick off a stretch of four games in six days. March will be a very busy month for the Pens, who will play 16 games in 29 days starting on Tuesday.
Season Series: SJ was in Pittsburgh on January 2nd, winning a 3-2 OT game. Brent Burns scored the GWG. Patric Hornqvist scored both goals for the Pens in that game. Tristan Jarry made 35 saves on 38 shots in the losing effort to help get a point in the standings.
SBN Team Counterpart: Our friends at Fear the Fin will have you covered from the Sharks perspective
San Jose season facts
Random tidbits for the Sharks:
- SJ doesn’t start games well, scoring only 51 first period goals (23rd in the league). They don’t finish strong either, their 48 third period goals this season ranks 30th in the league. They’ve given up 82 third period goals, which is also 30th in the league.
- Knowing the above stat, it’s no surprise SJ is just 2-25-0 when losing after two periods. They’re a big time team that fades away down the stretch.
- Generating goals has been a big problem, San Jose has just 112 5v5 goals this season, and their 24 5v4 goals ranks 29th in the league.
Player Stats at a Glance
—This team got old pretty quickly, didn’t they? Even Burns, who leads them and is doing pretty well, is only on pace for 55 points this year. He’s scored 60+ each of the last five seasons prior, including three seasons of 75+ points in that stretch.
Possible Lines (based on Thursday game)
Timo Meier - Joe Thornton - Dylan Gambrell
Evander Kane - Logan Couture - Noah Gregor
Marcus Sorensen - Alexander True - Kevin Lebanc
Lean Bergmann - Joel Kellman - Stefan Noesen
Radim Simek / Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic / Mario Ferraro
Jacob Middleton / Tim Heed
Expected starting goalie: Martin Jones
Expected Scratches: Brandon Davidson, Antti Suomela, Melker Karlsson (lower body)
Injured Reserve: Tomas Hertl (knee), Dalton Prout (concussion), Erik Karlsson (broken thumb)
—Today I learned there’s someone named “Lean” playing in the NHL. He’s a 20-year old undrafted German. Interesting. Also never heard of an “Alex True” either, sounds like a created player name in the video games. He’s a 22-year old undrafted Dane. Rounding out the list of “who?” is 21-year old Noah Gregson, a former fourth round pick also in his first taste of NHL action.
—Injuries have struck too. Hertl going down hurt a lot, and it feels like Karlsson has been banged up since he came over to SJ in a trade. A trade that’s backfired big time since Ottawa has San Jose’s first round pick this year and it figures to be a high pick, and possible a very high choice. Tough to hate SJ for going for it in a big way with one of the best defensemen in the past decade, but sometimes keeping it real goes wrong.
And now for the Pens..
Potential Lines (based on Friday Game)
Jason Zucker - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary
Bryan Rust- Evgeni Malkin - Patric Hornqvist
Patrick Marleau - Teddy Blueger - Brandon Tanev
Dominik Simon- Jared McCann -Evan Rodrigues
Jack Johnson/ Kris Letang
Marcus Pettersson / Justin Schultz
Zach Trotman / Chad Ruhwedel
Possible starting goalie: Tristan Jarry
Expected scratches: Zach Aston-Reese (lower body injury),Juuso Riikola (healthy), Sam Lafferty (healthy)
Injured Reserve: Nick Bjugstad (core muscle surgery), Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery), Jake Guentzel (shoulder), John Marino (cheek surgery)
—Neither Dumoulin nor Marino seem primed to come back for this game on the road with no time in between last game, but hey, both are at least one day closer in their respective recoveries. Patience....
—From the trade deadline to the end of the regular season every NHL team gets four “regular” recalls from the minors. Lafferty was an emergency recall while McCann was hurt, but the team made the emergency into an official due to McCann being healthy enough to play last night. No big deal since the team has defense depth and can utilize emergency recalls in a pinch, but always something to monitor now that they’re down to 3 of 4 regular recalls for the rest of the season. Ideally, won’t be a factor, but nothing about this season’s injury list has been ideal.