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game preview

Sharks aim to end skid against Blues

Monday, 02.18.2013 / 6:55 PM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Sharks aim to end skid against Blues
San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues

SHARKS (7-4-3) at BLUES (9-5-1)

TV: TSN2, NBCSN, CSN-CA

Last 10: San Jose 3-4-3; St. Louis 5-4-1.

Season series: This is the first of three meetings. They last met in the 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals, a series that the Blues won in five games.

Big story: Behind rookie goaltender Jake Allen, the Blues return home after going 3-0 on their recent road trip, earning victories in Detroit, Calgary and Vancouver. Meanwhile, their opponent Tuesday night has yet to win February, as the Sharks are 0-4-3 this month. It’s their longest losing streak since an 0-7-3 funk from Nov. 5-30, 2005.

Team scope:

Sharks: The woes continued for San Jose on Friday night, when it suffered a 4-1 loss against the red-hot Chicago Blackhawks. Tim Kennedy had the lone goal for the Sharks, who are only halfway through their six-game road trip.

"We just have to keep working," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "We'll work our way out of this and that's all we can do. It's tough, but we have a lot of veterans here."

Blues: With Jaroslav Halak injured (groin) and Brian Elliott struggling mightily (.849 save percentage), Allen has been a godsend for the Blues. He had a 2.58 goals-against average on the road trip and made 28 saves in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win against the Canucks.

With Halak now healthy, it’s up to Blues coach Ken Hitchcock to find playing time for both – and he says he will. St. Louis will visit Colorado on Wednesday night.

"(Allen) has really helped stabilize us," Hitchcock said. "He's just a solid guy. There's no holes in his game. It's a big step for us."

Who’s hot: Even with Friday’s performance (four goals on 37 shots), Sharks netminder Antti Niemi has still only allowed five goals in his past three appearances. He’s boasting a 1.94 GAA and .930 save percentage in 11 games this season. … Blues winger Alexander Steen has four goals and eight points over the past five games.

Injury report: Sharks forwards Andrew Desjardins (flu-like symptoms) and James Sheppard (lower body) are on injured reserve. … Blues winger Jamie Langenbrunner (hip) is out for the season.

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 12 '13SJS 2 at STL 4C. Porter
Mar 09 '13STL 4 at SJS 3 - OTP. Berglund
Feb 19 '13SJS 2 at STL 1T. Kennedy
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Marleau1510616+11053
J. Thornton1541216+3920
J. Pavelski156814+2621
L. Couture156612+3220
D. Boyle13279-5820
R. Clowe15066-15600
M. Havlat15325-11011
T. Wingels14145-1900
M. Vlasic15134+4400
B. Stuart15033+71300
T. Kennedy3202+1201
M. Handzus15112-3400
M. Irwin9112+0200
T. Galiardi10022+0400
S. Gomez10022-3400
J. Braun14011+0200
D. Murray14011-21500
A. Desjardins11011-13600
J. Sheppard9011+0200
A. Burish15000-21700
J. Demers5000-2600
B. Burns4000-4400
M. Pelech2000+0700
F. McLaren1000+0000
N. Petrecki1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Niemi127-2-3233411.86.933
T. Greiss31-2-08922.68.913
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Steen1641115+2622
K. Shattenkirk1611314+2810
T. Oshie165813-2721
C. Stewart166612+11430
V. Tarasenko166612-1821
D. Perron165712-22021
A. Pietrangelo163912-3620
P. Berglund169211+0231
A. McDonald163811+0810
D. Backes162911+02610
V. Sobotka16156-51301
B. Jackman16224+51300
J. Schwartz13123-3200
W. Redden10202-6700
R. Polak16022-4600
M. D'Agostini4101-1200
R. Reaves14011-24500
I. Cole10011+11000
J. Langenbrunner4011+1000
S. Nichol13000-31900
K. Russell12000-2200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
B. Elliott93-5-1281863.57.849
J. Allen53-1-0121142.62.895
J. Halak53-0-08722.10.889