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Posted On Saturday, 03.08.2014 / 5:21 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Murray, with Canadiens, returns to face Sharks

SAN JOSE -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray is braced for an emotional homecoming Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks when he faces his former team for the first time since being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins last March.

"It's special," Murray said after the Canadiens morning skate. "Can't really describe it yet. I think I've got to go through it to understand it. I obviously had a great 7-1/2 years here and loved everything about it. Have a lot of close friends in the area. It's exciting."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.06.2014 / 5:36 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins see multiple options with Goc, Stempniak

SAN JOSE -- Forwards Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak joined their new Pittsburgh Penguins teammates at SAP Center and likely will be in the lineup Thursday against the San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Goc and Stempniak, acquired Wednesday at the NHL Trade Deadline, arrived after the Penguins were off the ice following an optional morning skate. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said his lines and lineup would be "game-time" decisions, but the Penguins have 13 forwards on their active roster and one of them, Joe Vitale, stayed late on the ice, indicating he likely will be a healthy scratch.

When asked what he would tell his two new players, Bylsma sounded as if Goc, acquired from the Florida Panthers, and Stempniak, who arrived in a trade with the Calgary Flames, would make their Penguins debut against San Jose.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.04.2014 / 5:10 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks stick with Stalock against Hurricanes

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks backup goaltender Alex Stalock will get a second straight start for the first time in his NHL career Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at SAP Center.

Stalock is 10-4-0 with a 1.78 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. He won two games on the Sharks' recent three-game road trip, beating the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils while allowing a combined five goals on 53 shots.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he's playing the hot hand but is also giving No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi more time to adjust after his return from the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Finland's bronze medal-winning team.

"He's playing well right now," McLellan said of Stalock. "He's won some games for us. He looks comfortable in the net. Gives [Niemi] time to come home. When you think of his trip back from Europe, he hasn't had any practice time. So it gives him a day here to skate and another one tomorrow."

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Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 3:32 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks likely to get Demers back; injury has Nieto out

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks defenseman Jason Demers expects to return to the lineup Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets at SAP Center after missing three games with a groin injury.

Demers returned to practice Tuesday but did not play Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.

"I kind of was ready to go against Dallas, but they thought it best just to get another practice in and get my legs under me a little bit more," Demers said after the Sharks' optional morning skate. "It's a big game tonight for sure, a tough test. Sure I would have loved to play against Dallas, but it was nice to get the extra day and just get another practice, get a little sharper."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said he believes Demers will play against Columbus but left his options open.

"If there's any risk at all of Jason being sore or injured tonight, he won't play, but if there is no risk he will," McLellan said.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 4:30 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks' Burish eager to make up for lost time

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks forward Adam Burish will make his season debut Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars after missing the first 57 games with a herniated disk in his back that required surgery.

The slumping Sharks have lost four of their past five games and are coming off one of their worst performances of the season, a lackluster 5-2 loss Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Burish is known for his passion and intensity on the ice, two ingredients that were missing against Philadelphia. He said he'll try to give the Sharks what he's given teams throughout his NHL career, which included stints with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Stars.

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Posted On Monday, 02.03.2014 / 5:02 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks hoping to solve Flyers' Mason

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks will try to snap out of their goal-scoring slump Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers and red-hot goaltender Steve Mason.

The Sharks ended a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 2-1 shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks, but they've scored two goals in regulation in their past four games and have been shut out twice.

Mason has shutouts in two of his past three games, making 33 saves in a 5-0 victory Jan. 28 against the Detroit Red Wings and 35 saves in a 2-0 win Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.

"Every night's a good challenge obviously, but when goalies are playing well and feeling strong, getting a couple shutouts, you got to put a little extra emphasis in getting in front and getting those shots through and making sure life's a little bit harder for him to find those pucks in traffic," Sharks forward Patrick Marleau said.

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Posted On Monday, 01.27.2014 / 5:29 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks, Kings prepared for physical battle

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will resume a rivalry Monday (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2) that's become even more heated in the wake of their latest encounter.

Early in Los Angeles' 4-1 victory Dec. 19 at Staples Center, Sharks rookie forward Tomas Hertl sustained a serious injury to his right knee during a collision with Kings captain Dustin Brown. Brown received a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct but no supplemental discipline from the NHL. Hertl underwent knee surgery and could be lost for the season.

"You never want to see anybody get hurt, especially an exciting, young player," Brown said Monday after the Kings' morning skate at SAP Center. "Hopefully he can get healthy."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 9:06 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks' Niemi back in net vs. Wild

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks backup goaltender Alex Stalock has shutouts in two straight starts after a 1-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, but he'll have to wait to make back-to-back starts for the first time in his career.

No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi will be back in net Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center.

Even though Stalock has returned to the bench after each of his first two career shutouts, which came one week apart, Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Stalock has made his goaltending decisions more difficult throughout the season.

"In September when he made the team, he made it difficult because he had a very good skill level there," McLellan said. "We were very confident. We don't take making goaltender decisions lightly. We talk about it. We consult the goaltending coaches. We look at the lineup. And believe it or not, we do have a plan. We're executing it as we move forward."


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Posted On Thursday, 01.23.2014 / 5:06 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stalock starts as Sharks, Jets match four-game runs

SAN JOSE -- One week after recording his first NHL shutout, backup goaltender Alex Stalock will make his ninth start of the season Thursday for the San Jose Sharks against the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center in a battle between teams on four-game winning streaks.

Stalock made 24 saves in the Sharks' 3-0 victory against the Florida Panthers in his previous start, improving to 6-2-0 while lowering his goals-against average to 1.80 and raising his save percentage to .938.

"Obviously the goal for me is to stay sharp all the time," Stalock said. "You never know when you're going to get a chance. When you do you want to give the team a chance to win. That's my plan every night going into the game, trying to get two points every single game."

Stalock has had limited action this season but his numbers are better than No. 1 goaltender Antti Niemi's. Niemi is 26-10-6 with a 2.38 GAA and .913 save percentage.

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Posted On Monday, 01.20.2014 / 5:28 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Russell, Jones return for Flames

SAN JOSE -- The Calgary Flames will have defenseman Kris Russell and forward David Jones back in the lineup Monday night against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Russell has missed 13 games with a knee injury while Jones was out for eight with an eye injury.

"Anytime you get hurt it's brutal," Jones said after the Flames' morning skate. "I think this one just lagged on. I think we were a little too optimistic about how quickly it was going to turn around. That's the most frustrating part about it. I was thinking I'd be able to play the next day. My vision just wasn't getting any better. It was a little scary there for a while. I was worried that it was going to be worse than it was. Fortunately now it's 100 percent. It's nice to be back."

To make room for Russell on the active roster, the Flames placed forward Mike Cammalleri on injured reserve. He has missed the past four games with a concussion.

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Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday