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Fresh off latest comeback, Sharks host Panthers

by Dave Lozo
PANTHERS (27-29-10) at SHARKS (43-14-9)

Last 10:
Florida 3-6-1; San Jose 7-3-0

Season Series:
This is the only meeting of the season between the teams. In their one and only meeting last season, the Panthers earned a 4-3 home victory on Oct. 24, 2008.

Big Story: One team is fighting for its playoff life; the other is fighting for the Presidents' Trophy. The Panthers are eight points out of the eighth spot in the East while the Sharks are four points behind the NHL-leading Washington Capitals.

Team Scope:

Florida had its three-game winning streak snapped in Colorado on Thursday, a 3-0 setback to the Avs. Adding insult to injury was Avs goalie Craig Anderson, who blanked his former team by making 27 saves.

Saturday's game in San Jose wraps up a three-game road trip for the Panthers, who will need a furious finish to make the playoffs.

Sharks: Down 4-2 entering the third period against the Predators on Thursday, San Jose stormed back with six third-period goals and emerged with an 8-5 victory.

The Sharks were outshot 34-11 over the first two periods before finding their game in a big way. It wasn't textbook, but it was their third straight win.

"We were clearly outworked, outplayed, outhustled for two periods and that's very disappointing," coach Todd McLellan said. "The positive is that they did respond in the third, but I'm disappointed in the first two obviously."

Who's Hot:
Panthers left wing David Booth has 2 goals and 5 assists in his last 5 games. … Sharks center Joe Pavelski has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 games.

Injury Report:
Panthers center Nathan Horton is still out with a broken leg. … Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is out with a knee injury.

Stat Pack:
The Sharks' six goals in the third tied a franchise record for most goals in a period, matching the six scored in the second period against Hartford on Jan. 30, 1996. ... San Jose is a plus-55 in goal differential this season. Florida is minus-20.

Puck Drop:
"It was a lack of work in the first two periods. We took shortcuts. They beat us to a lot of loose pucks. We didn't close gaps quick enough in the defensive zone and they took advantage of us. We'll definitely look to clean that up." -- San Jose's Manny Malhotra

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