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Sharks try for second win in row; Columbus looks to extend point streak to 13

by Craig Merz / Independent Correspondent

SHARKS (18-21-3) at BLUE JACKETS (19-14-8)



The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets can equal their second-longest point streak of 13 games when they host the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets, who defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime on Thursday, have the longest active run (8-0-4) in the NHL to match their 8-0-4 streak from Feb. 26 to March 22, 2013.

Columbus was 12-0-1 from March 18 to April 11, 2015. Its record streak is 18 games (17-0-1) from Nov. 25, 2016, to Jan. 3, 2017.

The Blue Jackets' last game without a point was a 4-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on Dec. 7.

The Sharks seek their second straight win after a 3-2 overtime victory at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

San Jose is 2-1-1 in its past four games.


Players to watch

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns scored the winner on the power play against the Penguins. He has 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 42 games.

Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins has his first two NHL wins and saved 61 of 63 shots (.968 save percentage) in two games since replacing the injured Joonas Korpisalo.


They said it

"I think we've been playing pretty good hockey the last four or five games, getting better defensively. Obviously, scoring goals been tough." -- Sharks defenseman Brent Burns

"Guys have come in seamlessly and have been integrated into our lineup and done a great job, worked their butts off and came into our system." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones


Sharks projected lineup

Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Patrick Marleau

Evander Kane -- Barclay Goodrow -- Timo Meier

Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Melker Karlsson -- Joel Kellman -- Stefan Noesen

Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Radim Simek -- Mario Ferraro

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Tim Heed, Joachim Blichfeld, Antti Suomela

Injured: Dalton Prout (upper body)


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Boone Jenner -- Nick Foligno 

Kevin Stenlund -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Eric Robinson

Sonny Milano -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nathan Gerbe 

Ryan MacInnis -- Riley Nash -- Emil Bemstrom

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Gabriel Carlsson

Elvis Merzlikins

Matiss Kivlenieks

Scratched: Jakob Lilja

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Andrew Peeke (finger), Markus Nutivaara (upper body), Ryan Murray (lower body), Joonas Korpisalo (knee), Oliver Bjorkstrand (rib/oblique), Cam Atkinson (ankle), Josh Anderson (shoulder), Alexandre Texier (back), Dean Kukan (knee)


Status report

Bemstrom was activated off injured reserve on Saturday and could play. He has not played since Dec. 9. ... Kukan was placed on injured reserve Friday after sustaining a medial meniscus tear and articular cartilage injury to his left knee against the Bruins. He is out indefinitely. Carlsson is expected to take his place in the lineup. ...Sharks coach Bob Boughner said Friday that Dell would make a second straight start. … Atkinson, who has missed the past six games, could return.


Stat pack

Nyquist had 11 points (six goals, five assists) for the Sharks after being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 24, 2019. He signed a four-year contract with the Blue Jackets on July 1. … San Jose went 1-for-2 on the power play against the Penguins and is 3-for-51 (5.9 percent) in its past 21 games. … Dubois has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past eight games. … Jones has six assists in his past eight games.

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