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Preview: Sharks at Avalanche

San Jose goes for fifth straight win; Colorado goalie Spencer Martin to make second NHL start

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

SHARKS (29-16-2) at AVALANCHE (13-29-2)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; NBCSN


Sharks team scope

Goalie Martin Jones was first off the ice and is expected to make his second consecutive start for the San Jose Sharks, who have won four games in a row and are 10-4-1 in their past 15. Jones is 5-1-1 in his past seven starts and made 31 saves in a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. "I think we've been pretty good for a little while here," coach Peter DeBoer said. "We stumbled around for the first 20 games. From that point on, I think, we've been pretty good." Forward Tomas Hertl, who injured his knee against the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 17, is on the two-game road trip but won't play. "A huge hole for us," DeBoer said. "I think we've handled that exceptionally well. If we can stay healthy and get him back, I think we can go to another level." Defenseman Brent Burns is fifth in NHL scoring with 47 points (19 goals, 28 assists). "He's been as dominant a player as I've coached on defense," DeBoer said. "I think his defensive game is underestimated. What he means to us offensively, he's having an exceptional year."


Avalanche team scope

Goalie Spencer Martin will make his second consecutive start after making 27 saves in his NHL debut Saturday. "It was an awesome experience to play against a really good team in my first game and getting to play the same team again is going to be the same experience," Martin said. "The nerves will probably be a little bit less, but I still like to keep my energy level and intensity at the same peak. I think it will be more fun with a lot more Avalanche fans, and I really look forward to that." Coach Jared Bednar said Martin earned another start. "He made some big saves for us and the goals that went in came from deflections in front of the net," he said. "Let's see if he can repeat that last performance." Defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Rene Bourque will each miss their second consecutive game because of lower-body injuries. The Avalanche have lost five games in a row (0-4-1), are 1-12-1 in their past 14 at home and 2-14-1 in their past 15.

Sharks projected lineup

Patrick Marleau -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Kevin Labanc -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Joonas Donskoi -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward

Timo Meier -- Tommy Wingels -- Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Barclay Goodrow, Tim Head

Injured: Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist), Micheal Haley (lower body), Tomas Hertl (knee)

Avalanche projected lineup

Mikhail Grigorenko-- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen 

Gabriel Landeskog -- Matt Duchene -- Matt Nieto

Andreas Martinsen -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau 

Joe Colborne -- John Mitchell -- Jarome Iginla

Fedor Tyutin -- Francois Beauchemin 

Nikita Zadorov -- Cody Goloubef

Patrick Wiercioch -- Eric Gelinas

Spencer Martin

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: None

Injured: Tyson Barrie (lower body), Rene Bourque (lower body), Erik Johnson (broken fibula), Semyon Varlamov (groin)


Status report

Meier will replace Carpenter on San Jose's fourth line.


Who's hot

Burns has four goals and eight assists in his past nine games. ... Ward has two goals and two assists in four games. ... Thornton has one goal and three assists in four games. ... MacKinnon has two goals and five assists in six games. ... Duchene has two goals and two assists in four games.

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