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Blue Jackets' Bobrovsky to start against Sharks

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com

BLUE JACKETS (2-10-0) at SHARKS (6-5-0)

TV: FS-O, CSN-CA

SAN JOSE -- Sergei Bobrovsky will make his sixth straight start for the Columbus Blue Jackets when they face the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday at SAP Center.

The struggling goaltender was pulled after the first period of the Blue Jackets' 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, allowing three goals on 11 shots. Backup Curtis McElhinney stopped all 16 shots he faced.

"Before Winnipeg, he was coming (on)," said Columbus coach John Tortorella, who has gone 2-3-0 since replacing the fired Todd Richards. "That knocked him down a notch, but in talking to goalies over the years, they need to get into a flow, and I thought he was getting into a flow, and we're going to go with him. He had a little hiccup (against) Winnipeg. We got to come back with him and hopefully he can get himself back."

Tortorella said McElhinney, who hasn't started since Richards' last game as Blue Jackets coach on Oct. 20 against the New York Islanders, will get plenty of work this season.

"But right now we're fighting just to get up to the (surface). We're not even treading water," Tortorella said. "We're going underneath. So I'm going to go with our best guy and try to get him into a flow and see what happens from there."

The Blue Jackets are 2-10-0 and have four points, the fewest in the NHL. Bobrovsky is 2-8-0 with a 3.97 goals-against average and .865 save percentage. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2013. Last season he went 30-17-3 with a 2.69 GAA and .918 save percentage.

"He's the hardest worker on our team," Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray said. "There's no lack of work ethic in his game, it's just sometimes things don't go right, and when a team's struggling it's hard for a goalie not to. He's the last guy back there and sometimes we've hung him out to dry. We're just looking to play for him. We know that he's going to play for us every single night regardless of (bad) bounces or if things go wrong."

San Jose (6-5-0) won its first four games this season under new coach Peter DeBoer but has gone 2-5-0 since then. The Sharks ended a two-game losing streak Sunday with a 4-3 victory against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Sharks will face a desperate Columbus team, but they expect to match the Blue Jackets' desperation on the ice.

"We have to," Sharks center Joe Thornton said. "We're 6-5. We've got to go. We got to put a streak together and we realize that. We know they're a desperate team but so are we. It's going to be a good matchup."

The Sharks know better than to overlook the Blue Jackets. Columbus swept the two-game series last season. The Blue Jackets are 6-1-1 over the past eight games against San Jose.

"You look at their team," Thornton said. "It's a real good team. They're not a bottom-tier team at all. They're a very capable team and a very hungry team. We're going to see their best effort tonight. We got to match that and better it."

Here are the projected lineups:

BLUE JACKETS

Brandon Saad - Brandon Dubinsky - Boone Jenner

Matt Calvert - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson

Scott Hartnell - William Karlsson - Nick Foligno

Jared Boll - Gregory Campbell - David Clarkson

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Ryan Murray - Cody Goloubef

Kevin Connauton - Fedor Tyutin

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Injured: Alexander Wennberg (lower body)

Scratched: Rene Bourque, Dalton Prout

SHARKS

Joonas Donskoi - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Tomas Hertl - Joel Ward

Matt Nieto - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels

Barclay Goodrow - Bryan Lerg - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Paul Martin - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Matt Tennyson

Martin Jones

Alex Stalock

Injured: Logan Couture (broken leg), Ben Smith (head)

Scratched: Karl Stollery

Status report: Smith has had a setback in his recovery from a head injury sustained Oct. 17 against the Islanders, DeBoer said. He'll miss his second straight game and is day-to-day. … Stollery was called up from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League, and defenseman Dylan DeMelo was sent down. … Tyutin will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games, and Prout will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season … Boll will be in the lineup for the second straight game in place of Bourque.

Who's hot: Pavelski has scored a goal in four straight games and has a five-game point streak (4-1-5). Ward has six goals over his past five games. … Dubinsky has two goals and two assists over his past five games. Jenner has three goals and four points over his past four games.

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