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Sharks at Blackhawks preview

Marleau returns to San Jose; Chicago playing first game since NHL Global Series

by Scott King / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

SHARKS (0-4-0) at BLACKHAWKS (0-1-0)

8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, NBCSCA, NHL.TV

 
The Game

Patrick Marleau will play his first game back with the San Jose Sharks as they look to avoid their worst-ever start to a season when they play the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Thursday.

Marleau signed a one-year contract with the Sharks on Wednesday. He played his first 19 NHL seasons in San Jose prior to signing a three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 2, 2017. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on June 22 and had the final season of his contract bought out June 27.

The Sharks have been outscored 17-5 in losing their first four games of the season, matching their mark to start 1993-94 (0-4-0).

Chicago will play its first game since a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2019 NHL Global Series at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 4.

 
Players to watch

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau is their all-time leader in games played (1,493), goals (508) and points (1,082). It will be his first regular-season game with San Jose since April 8, 2017.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had three points (one goal, two assists) in the season opener against the Flyers.

 
They said it

"I try to just go out and play my game and we've got a lot of young guys right now, a lot of guys kind of learning the systems and things like that. I knew it was going to take a little bit of time and it's been getting better each game. We got (Patrick Marleau) back, a little bit more veteran presence there." -- Sharks goalie Aaron Dell

"I think everyone's excited about tonight. It's good to be home. It's good to kind of get in the groove of things. When you have those breaks you almost feel like the season almost didn't start yet. You get one game and then you're kind of resting and waiting. It's nice to have a few games in a row here." -- Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad

 
Sharks projected lineup

Timo Meier -- Logan Couture -- Patrick Marleau

Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Barclay Goodrow

Lean Bergmann -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Melker Karlsson -- Dylan Gambrell -- Danil Yurtaykin

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Erik Karlsson

Mario Ferraro -- Trevor Carrick

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Lukas Radil

Injured: Dalton Prout (upper body), Jacob Middleton (undisclosed), Tim Heed (upper body), Radim Simek (knee), Marcus Sorensen (undisclosed)

 
Blackhawks projected lineup

Alexander Nylander -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Andrew Shaw

Brandon Saad -- David Kampf -- Dominik Kubalik

Zack Smith -- Ryan Carpenter -- Drake Caggiula

Duncan Keith -- Erik Gustafsson

Olli Maatta -- Brent Seabrook

Slater Koekkoek -- Connor Murphy

Corey Crawford

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Brendan Perlini,

Injured: Calvin de Haan (groin), Kirby Dach (concussion)

 
Status report

De Haan joined the Blackhawks morning skate after missing practice Thursday. … Sharks forward Jonny Brodzinski was assigned to San Jose of the American Hockey League after clearing waivers. … Sorensen skated at United Center following San Jose's morning skate.

 
Stat pack

Marleau will play his 789th consecutive game, the second-longest active streak behind Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (800) and the sixth-longest all-time. Doug Jarvis played an NHL-record 964 consecutive games. ... Burns is one goal shy of 200 in the NHL. … DeBrincat (three goals, one assist) and Gustafsson (one goal, three assists) tied for the Blackhawks lead with four points each against the Sharks last season.

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