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Blue Jackets at Sharks preview

San Jose tries for third straight win, eighth in 12 games; Columbus has lost 11 of 16

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (32-28-5) AT SHARKS (35-21-9)



The Game

The San Jose Sharks will try to win their third straight game when the play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at SAP Center. The Sharks are 7-3-1 in their past 11 games and opened a six-game homestand by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Tuesday and Chicago Blackhawks 7-2 on Thursday

The Sharks are in second place in the Pacific Division, eight points behind the Vegas Golden Knights points and two ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. Goaltender Martin Jones will likely make his fourth straight start. He's 5-1-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in his past seven starts.

The Blue Jackets are 5-9-2 since the All-Star break and 0-2-0 entering the finale of their three-game California trip. They lost 5-2 at Los Angeles on Thursday and 4-2 at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

Columbus began Sunday even in points with the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games.

Sharks forward Evander Kane has three assists, four shots and five hits in his first two games with San Jose since being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.


They said it

"You can't get down, you can't overthink it. We're going to have to keep on trying to grow. I thought we had opportunities. I thought we played a good game other than a couple of sections of it of just a couple minutes, but we find ways to lose. That's what we have to turn around." -- Columbus coach John Tortorella after losing to Anaheim

"I think he creates room and keeps people honest on the other team for everybody when he's out there. He has a reputation as a big power forward that's not afraid of the physical part of the game." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer on Evander Kane


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Sonny Milano -- Nick Foligno -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Thomas Vanek -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Boone Jenner

Matt Calvert -- Mark Letestu -- Lukas Sedlak

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Ryan Murray -- Jack Johnson

Ian Cole -- David Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Scott Harrington, Markus Hannikainen

Injured: Alexander Wennberg (upper body), Dean Kukan (upper body), Markus Nutivaara (upper body), Josh Anderson (knee)

Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Joe Pavelski -- Joonas Donskoi

Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Kevin Labanc

Barclay Goodrow -- Eric Fehr -- Melker Karlsson

Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Tim Heed, Paul Martin, Jannik Hansen, Marcus Sorensen

Injured: Joe Thornton (knee), Joel Ward (shoulder)


Status report

Fehr is expected to play after missing one game with a lower-body injury. ... Neither team held a morning skate.


Stat pack

Panarin has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Pavelski has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past two games.

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