SHARKS (30-17-6) at CAPITALS (28-22-5)
TV: NBCSP (HD), TSN2
Last 10: San Jose 4-5-1; Washington 3-4-3.
Season Series: This is the second and final meeting between the clubs. The Sharks cruised to a 5-2 victory against the Caps on Jan. 7 at HP Pavilion.
Big Story: Washington will be thankful to return home after dropping a 3-2 decision to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon. The Caps are 19-7-2 on home ice, but Sunday's loss dropped them to 9-15-3 on the road. They'll need to be better down the stretch if they plan on beating out the Florida Panthers for the Southeast Division crown.
"It is nothing, nothing that we're playing any different or anything," Caps forward Jeff Halpern
said. "It is not like we're drawing up a different game plan at home versus on the road. The results just aren't there for whatever reason."
Sharks: San Jose came up empty -- both in the standings and on the scoreboard -- as it opened its nine-game road trip with a 3-0 loss at St. Louis on Sunday night. Antti Niemi
made 25 saves for the Sharks, who have lost three of four overall and now lead the Los Angeles Kings by just one point in the Pacific Division.
The Sharks were 0-for-4 on the power play after going 7-for-14 in the previous four games. A lack of discipline made them pay severely Sunday night, as the Blues were awarded a trio of two-man advantages during the game.
"We had eight minutes of power play and did nothing with it," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said when asked about the Blues' 5-on-3 opportunities. "I’m not going to question anything."
Capitals: Washington fell short in its bid to leap over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference playoff race due to Sunday's loss in New York. John Carlson
had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have lost four of their last six games.
got the start after Tomas Vokoun
was ill despite participating in the pre-game warmups.
"I didn't really get a warmup," Neuvirth said. "It's tough. Early game, no pregame skate. I got better as the game went on."
Who's Hot: Sharks captain Joe Thornton
has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last five games. … Caps forward Alexander Semin
has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last five.
Injury Report: San Jose is expected to be without Jason Demers
(lower body), Tommy Wingels
(upper body) and Martin Havlat
(hamstring). … Mike Green
(sports hernia), Nicklas Backstrom
(concussion symptoms) and Tom Poti
(groin) are out for Washington.
Stat Pack: San Jose has lost three in a row to St. Louis for the first time since dropping five in a row from Jan. 9 to Dec. 18, 2003. … Prior to Sunday's loss, the Capitals were 10-4-2 in their previous 16 regular-season games against the Rangers and 4-1-1 in six trips to Madison Square Garden.
Puck Drop: "We're aware of our road record. Pretty much everybody wins at home. If you're going to make up ground in the standings, it has got to be by winning on the road. I don't know what to say. Guys played hard and we're there at the end. There's been a lot one-goal games just falling short for whatever reason that we couldn't find a way." -- Capitals forward Brooks Laich