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Sharks to start rested Jones against Devils

San Jose goalie got rest Tuesday, will face Kinkaid, New Jersey

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

DEVILS (31-29-7) at SHARKS (37-23-6)

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

SAN JOSE -- A well-rested Martin Jones will return to net for the San Jose Sharks against the New Jersey Devils and backup goaltender Keith Kinkaid at SAP Center on Thursday.

Jones made a career-high 47 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames on Monday, then watched the next night as backup James Reimer had a 31-save shutout against the Edmonton Oilers. Jones is 33-17-4 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

Kinkaid will make his second straight start in place of No. 1 goaltender Cory Schneider, who sustained a sprained right knee on Friday against the Dallas Stars and is expected to miss at least two weeks. Kinkaid gave up six goals on 30 shots in a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

"I saw this kid play some great hockey for them," said Sharks coach Peter DeBoer, who was fired by the Devils after starting 12-17-7 last season, his fourth with New Jersey. "As great as Cory is, Keith Kinkaid has the ability to step in and play a fantastic game tonight. I've seen it. We're treating it like there's not going to be a drop-off, and that's with all the appropriate respect to Cory and what he's done this year and how good he is."

Schneider is 26-23-6 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. Kinkaid is 5-6-1 with a 2.74 GAA and .902 save percentage.

"I think he's their best player," current Shark and former Devils forward Dainius Zubrus said of Schneider. "Last year he was our best player. This year from what I've heard from the guys, he's played real well.

"To be honest with you, I don't think about, 'Well, it's going to be easier because he's not there.' He's a great goalie, but any goalie can get hot and I know Kinkaid is a good goalie too. I've been there and seen him play some really good games."

Sharks defenseman Roman Polak took part in the morning skate and will be the lineup, despite sustaining a broken nose in a fight with Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse, who was suspended three games without pay Thursday by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for violating Rule 46.2 (Aggressor).

"I knew it right away it was nothing more than a broken nose," Polak said. "It was just bleeding a lot when it happened. Nothing worse happened. I'm glad it's just a broken nose."

The Devils, who have not played since Sunday, did not have a morning skate. But during practice Wednesday, coach John Hynes shuffled his lines, looking for a spark.

Tyler Kennedy, a former Shark, skated on the top line with center Adam Henrique and right winger Devante Smith-Pelly, replacing Joseph Blandisi. Sergey Kalinin skated between Blandisi and Mike Sislo, who was called up Monday from Albany of the American Hockey League.
Defenseman David Warsofsky has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, but he practiced Wednesday and there's a chance he could return to the lineup.

Here are the projected lineups:

Tyler Kennedy - Adam Henrique - Devante Smith-Pelly
Reid Boucher - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri
Joseph Blandisi - Sergey Kalinin - Mike Sislo
Tuomo Ruutu - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
John Moore - David Schlemko
Seth Helgeson - Damon Severson

Keith Kinkaid
Yann Danis

Injured: Cory Schneider (sprained knee), Jacob Josefson (upper body), Ryan Warsofsky (ankle), Jiri Tlusty (wrist surgery), Michael Cammalleri (hand), Patrik Elias (right knee)
Scratched: Bobby Farnham, Jon Merrill

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto - Logan Couture - Joonas Donskoi
Nick Spaling - Patrick Marleau - Joel Ward
Dainius Zubrus - Chris Tierney - Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Paul Martin - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak

Martin Jones
James Reimer

Injured: Tommy Wingels (sprained shoulder), Matt Tennyson (head)
Scratched: Dylan DeMelo

Status report: Wingels skated again and shot pucks but will miss his 11th straight game. "Feeling better every day," Wingels said. "Hopefully next week we'll be ready to go. That's what we're thinking. Getting closer, that's for sure." … Sharks forward Micheal Haley was reassigned to the San Jose of the AHL. …  Josefson, Cammalleri, Elias and Schneider are not on the Devils' three-game road trip, which begins against San Jose.

Who's hot: Burns has a five-game point streak with four goals and five assists. … Thornton has a six-game point streak with one goal and seven assists. … Henrique has four goals over his past four games. … Smith-Pelly has two goals and an assist in three games since coming to the Devils from the Montreal Canadiens in a trade.

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