It's been nearly a year since the San Jose Sharks last lost in regulation at home. To keep that remarkable streak going, though, they cannot look past their next opponent.
San Jose will try to keep its streak alive on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are going for a rare California sweep.
The league-leading Sharks are 19-0-2 at HP Pavilion this season, and haven't had a regulation loss in 30 straight regular-season contests since falling 3-2 to Edmonton on Feb. 14.
Should San Jose (31-5-5) get past the Lightning, the pressure to maintain that streak will intensify as the Sharks next play division leaders Calgary on Thursday and Detroit on Saturday. First, though, the Sharks must continue to take care of business against Tampa Bay, something they've been pretty successful in doing for more than 12 years.
After losing the first five matchups from 1992-96, San Jose is 4-1-0 with a tie in its last six when hosting the Lightning. The Sharks haven't played Tampa Bay at home since a 3-1 victory on Jan. 16, 2006.
A big reason behind San Jose's home success in 2008-09 has been Patrick Marleau. He's scored 14 of his team-leading 23 goals there, with six coming in a five-game streak. Last season under Ron Wilson, now coaching in Toronto, the Sharks captain totaled 19 goals in 78 games.
Marleau had his second straight two-goal game on Saturday in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, drawing praise from new coach Todd McLellan.
"Our captain stepped up just like he has to do night in and night out," said McLellan, who will coach the Western Conference at the All-Star Game later this month in Montreal. "I was very happy to see him elevate his game in the third period. He's done that two nights in a row and as a result we win games."
Marleau has points in three straight at home against the Lightning, tallying a goal and two assists.
Tampa Bay will be looking for its first sweep in California since 1993-94 - its second NHL season. The Lightning (13-19-10) started the swing with 4-3 victory over Anaheim on Friday followed by Monday's 3-1 win over the Kings.
Mike Smith stopped 29 shots and All-Star Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and assist for Tampa Bay.
Lecavalier leads the Lightning with 17 goals, one more than linemate Martin St. Louis, who has team-highs of 25 assists and 41 points.
Lecavalier hasn't scored in back-to-back games since Oct. 11-16 against Carolina and the New York Islanders, respectively. The franchise scoring leader could be hard-pressed to match that as he has just two goals in five career games at San Jose.
One Tampa Bay player who's enjoyed a resurgence recently is Vaclav Prospal. The left wing had been held without a point in nine straight games from Dec. 8-27, but with a point against the Kings, Prospal has three goals and six assists in a season-high seven-game streak.
Prospal hasn't had a point in his last four visits to San Jose dating back to March 2003.
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