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Columbus
Blue Jackets
41-31-10
San Jose
Sharks
53-18-11

game preview

Blue Jackets-Sharks Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets-Sharks Preview
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks

Nothing has been able to stop the San Jose Sharks at home this season. The Columbus Blue Jackets have been continually frustrated there over the last eight seasons.

Looking for its ninth win in a row overall, league-leading San Jose also will try to extend its dominance at home over Columbus on Thursday night.

With a 5-2 victory on Oct. 14, the Sharks improved to 14-0-1 all-time at home against Columbus. San Jose also has won eight straight at the Shark Tank over the Blue Jackets since a 3-2 overtime defeat on Jan. 8, 2004.

After a 5-2 win over visiting Toronto on Tuesday, San Jose (21-3-1) tied the 1943-44 Montreal Canadiens for the best 25-game start in NHL history.

"The record is something we're proud of and we are pleased with, but again it's about the full 60 minute effort," rookie head coach Todd McLellan told the Sharks' official Web site. "We had a pretty good effort for the most part tonight, but not consistent enough to be a team that can win at the end. So we've still got some work to do."

Regardless of McLellan's assessment, it appears the all-around effort is there. The Sharks haven't lost since dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Nashville on Nov. 11, outscoring their opponents 40-17 while converting 35.7 percent (15-of-42) of their power-play opportunities.

"It's not like we're jumping for joy," said San Jose's Dan Boyle. "We're pretty focused here. It's just the start of the season, and there's bigger and better things to work on."

The Sharks are the only NHL team that has yet to lose at home in regulation in 2008-09, and has notched at least one point in 23 straight games (21-0-2) at HP Pavilion.

Joe Thornton had a goal and three assists in the first period against the Maple Leafs, and leads San Jose with 23 assists and 30 points. When he takes the ice on Thursday, Thornton will set the franchise's ironman mark by playing in his 248th straight game, moving ahead of Vincent Damphousse.

Columbus (11-10-3), which begins a three-game swing through California, will be looking for its season high-tying third consecutive win. After a 3-0 win over Washington on Saturday, the Blue Jackets scored twice in the third period in a 3-2 victory over Vancouver on Monday.

Andrew Murray and Kristian Huselius helped erase a one-goal deficit, and rookie Steve Mason made 17 of his 30 saves over the final 20 minutes.

"This was kind of payback for the games we've played so well and then something (bad) has happened in the end," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Mason, who stopped 26 shots in the win over the Capitals, is 6-2-1 with a 2.08 goals-against average and is the reigning NHL rookie of the month for November. He has never faced the Sharks.

Nash, who leads Columbus with 12 goals and 23 points, has had multipoint games in five of his last seven contests. The top overall pick in 2002 has totaled five goals and five assists while helping the Blue Jackets to a 3-3-1 record.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 07 '09 SJS 2 at CBJ 3 - OT C. Backman
Dec 17 '08 SJS 1 at CBJ 2 - OT R. Umberger
Dec 04 '08 CBJ 2 at SJS 3 J. Thornton
Oct 14 '08 CBJ 2 at SJS 5 P. Marleau
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Nash25131124+61833
D. Brassard2481220+9811
K. Huselius2491019-31231
J. Chimera2561016+82910
R. Umberger258614+3620
J. Voracek254812+72000
F. Modin194711-81210
F. Tyutin253811-21600
M. Commodore2501010+53600
M. Methot19358+71400
M. Malhotra20336+7401
M. Peca20156-33201
A. Murray21325-4401
J. Hejda25145+91000
C. Backman24134+11610
J. Novotny16134+5400
R. Torres14134-1801
R. Klesla13134+21000
J. Boll19033-26200
D. Dorsett12112-16301
N. Filatov4101+1000
O. Tollefsen11011+01600
K. Russell9011-2000
A. Picard6000-12200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Mason106-3-1222652.18.917
P. Leclaire104-5-0332733.61.879
F. Norrena81-3-2171333.16.872
D. Lacosta10-0-02193.43.895
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Thornton2682432+102642
D. Setoguchi26131730+15222
P. Marleau26121729+14422
R. Clowe26111223+62561
D. Boyle2591423+82443
J. Pavelski26111122+5231
R. Blake2651621+75230
M. Michalek2471017+2822
M. Vlasic2631417+121210
C. Ehrhoff2621416+62410
M. Grier243710+51701
J. Cheechoo19448+11421
J. Roenick26257-11810
T. Plihal22336-1801
B. Lukowich25055+7600
M. Goc18134-21401
J. McGinn5213+2001
J. Shelley25112-14401
L. Kaspar6101-1401
B. Staubitz9011+12500
A. Semenov8011+11000
D. Murray21000+1900
R. Armstrong2000-1200
T. Cavanagh1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
E. Nabokov1715-2-0434382.50.902
B. Boucher97-1-1172361.89.928