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Preview: Penguins at Sharks

Goaltender Matt Murray starts for Pittsburgh in Stanley Cup final rematch; San Jose shuffles lines looking for speed

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

PENGUINS (7-2-2) at SHARKS (6-5-0)

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

 

Penguins team scope

Goaltender Matt Murray will make his second start in three games for the Pittsburgh Penguins since recovering from a broken right hand that delayed the start of his season, and fourth-line left wing Conor Sheary will return to the lineup after missing seven straight games with an eye injury. The Penguins are as healthy as they've been all season for their first game at SAP Center since defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on June 12 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, when they won their fourth championship. "I think we've turned the page. I'm sure they have, too," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said of the rematch. "I think it's probably natural for the emotion and intensity to carry over. But I think for us, it's a boost when you get injured guys back in the lineup. We finally have our full team." Murray made 32 saves in a 5-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at Honda Center, but Marc-Andre Fleury made his 10th start Thursday in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. "We have a game plan," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We always do on where we pencil our goaltenders in, but it's always subject to change." The Penguins defeated San Jose 3-2 on Oct. 20 at PPG Paints Arena, despite trailing 2-0 after two periods. Pittsburgh played that game without Crosby, defenseman Kris Letang and Sheary. The Penguins also lost defensemen Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot to second-period injuries.

 

Sharks team scope

San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer shuffled his lines and made one change to his lineup, inserting fourth-line left wing Matt Nieto for Micheal Haley, after back-to-back losses against the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames. Tomas Hertl will return to the top line at left wing after centering the third line the past five games. Left wing Mikkel Boedker will drop from the top line to the third line, with Patrick Marleau moving from left wing to center. "We're just moving things around, trying to find something that will give us a little bit of a spark," DeBoer said. "It's not even how we're playing. It's just finishing. Just shuffling the deck. The good thing about us with the depth we have we got a lot of good options. There's no guys you want to avoid playing with or anything like that. I think when you lose two in a row and haven't scored as much as we'd like, that's what happens." Nieto will return to the lineup after missing the past five games as a healthy scratch. He's one of the Sharks' fastest skaters and adds some much-needed speed against the Penguins. The Sharks downplayed talk of having extra motivation facing the team that beat them in the Final last season. "I would hope the chip on the shoulder would be because we lost two in a row," DeBoer said. "We want to fix that."

 

Penguins projected lineup

Carl Hagelin -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson -- Nick Bonino -- Bryan Rust

Conor Sheary -- Matt Cullen -- Eric Fehr

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Matt Murray

Marc-Andre Fleury

Injured: Derrick Pouliot (undisclosed)

Scratched: David Warsofsky, Tom Kuhnhackl, Tom Sestito

 

Sharks projected lineup

Tomas Hertl -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Joel Ward

Mikkel Boedker - Patrick Marleau -- Melker Karlsson

Matt Nieto -- Chris Tierney -- Tommy Wingels

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Injured: None

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Micheal Haley

 

Status report

Jones will start his eighth straight game. Dell has started only one game this season, on Oct. 18 against the New York Islanders. ... Kuhnhackl will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game. ... Sestito will be a healthy scratch after playing two straight games.

 

Who's hot

Crosby has a five-game point streak with six goals and two assists. Hornqvist has two goals and three assists in his past four games. ... Pavelski leads the Sharks with 12 points (four goals, eight assists). ... Burns has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 11 games. 

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