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Preview: Flames at Sharks

Goaltender Chad Johnson to start for Calgary; San Jose looks to go 5-0-0 at home

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

FLAMES (4-6-1) at SHARKS (6-4-0)

10:30 p.m. ET; SN360, CSN-CA, NHL.TV


Flames team scope

Backup goaltender Chad Johnson (1-1-1) will make his fourth start of the season in place of Brian Elliott for the Calgary Flames. Coach Glen Gulutzan said starting Johnson was a "planned move," and not a reaction to two straight losses. "We kind of mapped out the schedule," Gulutzan said. "You saw [Elliott] go about five in a row, I believe it is here. We marked this as a game that [Johnson] would be a good fit for us, especially after a long travel day from Chicago." Gulutzan also shuffled his defensive pairs, which he said was a response to being 4-6-1. Defenseman Brett Kulak will play his fourth game of the season, replacing Dennis Wideman in the lineup. Kulak will skate on the second pair with Deryk Engelland, and TJ Brodie will move up one pair and be reunited with Mark Giordano. Kulak will play for the first time since Oct. 20, against the Carolina Hurricanes. Rookie forward Matthew Tkachuk, the sixth pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, will play his 10th game of the season Thursday, which will activate the first year of his three-year entry level contract. The 18-year old avoided being sent back to London of the Ontario Hockey League. "The good thing is nothing changes in my mindset," Tkachuk said. "It's still a day by day process. There's still a possibility you may not be here the rest of the year."


Sharks team scope

The San Jose Sharks will keep their same lineup for the fifth straight game and will try to remain perfect at SAP Center after starting the season 4-0-0 at home. Last year, San Jose went 18-20-3 at home. "It's a great start for us because last season was a little bit tough at home," Sharks forward Tomas Hertl said. "Just four games, but for sure it's exciting for us that we've played better at home. We got now two important [home] games, starting tonight against Calgary, and hopefully two games, we make it four points." The Sharks conclude their two-game homestand Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. San Jose is coming off a 3-2 road loss against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. The Sharks led 1-0 after one period but trailed 3-1 after two. "The bottom line is we won [three] of our last four, and the last one, despite a couple poor periods of play for a few minutes, probably deserved to win that game too," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're not going to overreact to this."

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Alex Chiasson

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Micheal Ferland

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Jyrki Jokipakka -- Dougie Hamilton

Chad Johnson

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Dennis Wideman, Nicklas Grossmann, Freddie Hamilton

Injured: Ladislav Smid (neck)


Sharks projected lineup

Mikkel Boedker -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Joel Ward

Patrick Marleau -- Tomas Hertl -- Melker Karlsson

Micheal Haley -- Chris Tierney -- Tommy Wingels

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Matt Nieto

Injured: none


Status update

Haley will play his fifth straight game in place of Nieto. ... Jones will make his seventh straight start. ... Wideman's streak of six straight games in the lineup will end.


Who's hot

Hertl has a three-game point streak (2-3-5). ... Donskoi has points in four straight games (2-2-4). ... Frolik (2-1-3) and Backlund (1-2-3) have three-game point streaks.

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