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The San Jose Sharks haven't looked like a team that has played its last seven contests away from home.
The Sharks hope to keep their focus and win their fifth straight as they conclude their season-high, eight-game road trip on Saturday night against the struggling St. Louis Blues.
San Jose (35-21-8) began its 13-day road swing on Feb. 17 against the New York Rangers, dropping its first three games before winning the next four. The most recent of those contests was a 3-2 victory over slumping Detroit on Friday night.
Joe Pavelski scored 1:40 into the game, and Devin Setoguchi added two goals on assists from Patrick Marleau for the Sharks, who have their longest road winning streak since a 10-game run from Nov. 14-Dec. 31.
"We got the first goal and seemed to get the momentum," said defenseman Craig Rivet, who assisted on Setoguchi's power-play goal in the third period.
|The San Jose Sharks hope to close out their season-long eight-game road trip on a high note as they go for their fifth-straight win when they visit the St. Louis Blues tonight. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)|
Setoguchi, recalled from Worcester of the AHL on Thursday, hadn't played in an NHL game since Jan. 30 at Calgary. The rookie right wing has 11 goals and three assists in 30 games with the Sharks, who seek their longest overall win streak since a five-game run from March 27-April 5.
On Friday, Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves for his fourth straight win. Nabokov is a big reason why the Sharks have been one of the NHL's best road teams this season.
Nabokov has been in net for all 21 of San Jose's road wins, a total matched only by league-leading Detroit.
The Sharks have displayed strong defense lately, holding each of the last four opponents to two goals or fewer while limiting teams to 22 shots or less in eight of the last 10 games.
"When you hold a team like Detroit to only 22 shots on goal, you've done a helluva job," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.
That stifling defense has been evident against St. Louis (28-26-10), which has scored only one goal in two losses to San Jose. The Sharks allowed that tally in a 4-1 home win on Jan. 24 in the most recent meeting.
San Jose is 10-1-1 against the Blues since Jan. 3, 2004, winning six times in St. Louis during that span.
Nabokov is 7-7-1 with a 2.49 goals-against average in 16 all-time appearances versus the Blues. He is 4-2-0 with a 3.01 GAA and a shutout in six games at St. Louis, which has lost five straight (0-4-1), including the first two contests on a four-game homestand.
The Blues are coming off a 2-1 defeat to Phoenix on Sunday. Ryan Johnson scored for the Blues, who couldn't get any of their season-high 42 shots past the Coyotes' Ilya Bryzgalov.
"He made the saves when he had to," right wing Brad Boyes said. "He's a great goaltender, so if he's going to see them, he's going to make the save."
St. Louis, mired in its worst skid since going 0-5-2 from Jan. 11-24, has been plagued by a weak offense lately, scoring just four goals during its losing streak.
Paul Kariya, the Blues' scoring leader with 51 points, and Boyes, who leads with 32 goals, have both been kept off the scoresheet in those five contests.
Meanwhile, Keith Tkachuk - second with 20 goals - has one in his last five games. In 58 career contests against the Sharks, though, he has 32 goals and 63 points - the most he has against any team.