Winning at home hasn't always been easy for the San Jose Sharks this season. Facing the Chicago Blackhawks might help change that on Tuesday.
In the middle of the Western Conference playoff race, San Jose (41-25-3) snapped a season-high four-game home losing streak with a 3-0 win over Edmonton on Sunday. The Sharks most recent home victory before Sunday was 4-2 over the Blackhawks (26-33-9) on Feb. 3.
San Jose has won five in a row overall over Chicago and has earned at least one point in 11 straight matchups at home, going 7-0-1 with three ties.
The Sharks, tied for fifth place in the West with Dallas and Minnesota, have the worst home mark of any of the top eight teams in the conference at 19-12-3. They play seven of their final 13 games at HP Pavilion.
Three of their four recent home losses came by one goal, with one going to overtime and another decided in a shootout.
"The games we've lost, we've lost to teams that are very good," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "Our problem all year has been consistency. If we can just develop a nice, consistent effort down the stretch, we'll be OK."
Evgeni Nabokov made 22 saves Sunday to record his third shutout in four games. He has seven on the season, second only to New Jersey's Martin Brodeur with 12.
"We didn't get off to the start we wanted, but the goaltending played well again and we were rewarded at the end of the game," said defenseman Kyle McLaren, who scored one of the Sharks' two third-period goals Sunday.
Nabokov made 21 saves in a 2-0 win over Chicago on Feb. 22.
Bill Guerin will again be looking for his first point with the Sharks since being acquired from St. Louis last month. Guerin had 28 goals and 47 points with the Blues, but has been held scoreless in six games with his new team.
The Blackhawks, who are on pace to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, will be trying to win four in a row for the first time since March 2002 as they play the second of a five-game road trip.
Center Jeff Hamilton recorded his second hat trick of the season and added two assists in a 7-5 win at Phoenix on Saturday. His linemates also played well as Patrick Sharp had his second straight two-goal game and Rene Bourque had three assists for Chicago, which scored five times on 17 shots in the first period to snap a three-game road losing streak.
"As a line, we talk a great deal, that makes things much easier," Hamilton said. "Real solid game by our line, and with the three-game winning streak, we're on a little roll here."
Chicago, which has scored more than five goals in a game only three times this season, has outscored its opponents 14-8 in its last three contests.