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Sharks begin five-game road trip vs. Blue Jackets

San Jose staying with lineup that won opener, Columbus without injured defenseman Ryan Murray

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

SHARKS (1-0-0) at BLUE JACKETS (0-1-0)

7 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, FS-O, NHL.TV

COLUMBUS -- The San Jose Sharks start a five-game trip Saturday in the same place they ended a perfect road swing last season, one that catapulted them to the best road record in the NHL.

San Jose trailed the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 in the third period at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 22, 2015, but scored four straight goals for a 5-3 victory that completed a 6-0-0 trip. The Sharks went on to set a team record and lead the NHL with 28 road wins.

"It was a big moment for us," Sharks forward Joel Ward said. "It built a lot of confidence in us to do well on the road and once we got back home we took care of our own barn. It was definitely a boost to win that game."

The Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 at home Wednesday in their season opener. After playing the Blue Jackets, they continue with games at the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings before returning to SAP Center.

It's a daunting task, but the Sharks are confident based on what they did on the road last season.

"We played hard but it was patient hockey," captain Joe Pavelski said. "We didn't beat ourselves, ever. It was a good recipe for us."

Ward said the reason for San Joe's road success starts with veterans such as Pavelski, forward Joe Thornton and defenseman Brent Burns.

"Our leadership group is really strong," Ward said. "The way the bring it everyone follows. We have a good system and the coaches laid a good foundation."

San Jose coach Peter DeBoer would love to replicate last season's road success but knows it won't be easy.

"We're not going to catch anyone by surprise this year," he said. "Everyone is going to be ready for us."

The Sharks will not make any lineup changes, but Columbus will have one after losing 6-3 to the Boston Bruins in the season opener Thursday at Nationwide Arena.

Defenseman Ryan Murray, who played all 82 games last season, sustained a lower-body injury blocking a shot and will sit. Dalton Prout will take his place on a pairing with rookie Markus Nutivaara.

"You want to be playing in home opener. I'd be lying if I said I didn't," Prout said. "I'm excited to get back with the team. I didn't play the last couple of exhibition games or the home opener."

Columbus coach John Tortorella knows Prout isn't the same offensive threat as Murray, but he wants him up the ice helping as often as possible.

"He's a hard-nosed defensive guy under the hash but that does not stop him from the responsibility of joining the rush," Tortorella said. "If we want to enhance our scoring and score some goals as we go through a long year he needs to take that responsibility also. He has the ability to do that."

Video: LAK@SJS: Couture beats Quick top shelf for PPG

 

Sharks projected lineup

Tomas Hertl -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Mikkel Boedker -- Logan Couture -- Joonas Donskoi

Patrick Marleau -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward

Matt Nieto -- Tommy Wingels -- Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Micheal Haley, Ryan Carpenter

Injured: None

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson

Brandon Saad -- Sam Gagner -- Nick Foligno

Scott Hartnell -- Alexander Wennberg -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Matt Calvert -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

David Savard -- Jack Johnson

Markus Nutivaara -- Dalton Prout

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Lukas Sedlak

Injured: Cody Goloubef (oblique), Joonas Korpisalo (groin), David Clarkson (back), Ryan Murray (lower body)

 

Status report

San Jose recalled forward Ryan Carpenter from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League on Friday. "He deserved it," DeBoer said. "His last game in Anaheim I thought was his best exhibition game. He had a good year last year in the American League, probably the best of any forward down there. You like to reward guys on merit." … Rookie Timo Meier (mononucleosis) was assigned to the Barracuda. … Unless a move is made, Columbus does not have an extra defenseman available since Scott Harrington was loaned to Cleveland of the AHL on Friday.

 

Who's hot

Couture had a power-play goal and an assist against the Kings, and Jones made 22 saves. … Jones and Wennberg each had a goal and an assist for Columbus in the loss to the Bruins. Foligno had two assists.

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