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Sharks at Panthers preview

San Jose tries to end 0-2-1 slide; Florida continues nine-game homestand

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

SHARKS (15-14-2) at PANTHERS (14-9-5)



The Game

The San Jose Sharks will try to end their three-game winless streak (0-2-1) when they face the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Sunday.

The Sharks are coming off a 7-1 loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Goalie Martin Jones was pulled 52 seconds into the third period after allowing his fourth goal on 21 shots.

The Panthers will be looking for their third win in four games on a nine-game homestand, their longest since entering the NHL in 1993. They defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Saturday when Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves while facing his former team for the first time.


Players to watch

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past seven games.

Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle had two assists against Columbus, giving him six during a four-game point streak.


They said it

"Honestly, I thought we played pretty well through two [periods]. I thought we had some good 5-on-5 looks -- they scored a power-play [goal] at the end there -- but I didn't like our third period. We kind of gave them some freebies and let our goalies down." -- Sharks captain Logan Couture on the 7-1 loss at Tampa Bay

"Back-to-backs are always tough, but I think that's how you get to this level. We've got to suck it up, get some rest tonight and come back and try and do the same thing. San Jose is a pretty good team, but I think if we can stick to our fundamentals we'll be all right." -- Panthers defenseman Josh Brown


Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Logan Couture -- Barclay Goodrow

Timo Meier -- Tomas Hertl -- Patrick Marleau

Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Noah Gregor -- Dylan Gambrell -- Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Radim Simek -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Mario Ferraro

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Lean Bergmann, Tim Heed, Lukas Radil

Injured: Antti Suomela (undisclosed)


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman -- Vincent Trocheck -- Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano -- Aleksi Saarela -- Noel Acciari

Dominic Toninato -- Brian Boyle -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

MacKenzie Weegar -- Anton Stralman

Mike Matheson -- Josh Brown

Sergei Bobrovsky

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Mark Pysyk, Denis Malgin

Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (upper body)


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. … Radil and Heed have been healthy scratches for the past seven and five games, respectively. … The Panthers alternated starting goalies in their first five back-to-back sets, but they'll go back to Bobrovsky for a second consecutive start. Before Saturday, he hadn't played since Nov. 30. Hawryluk is expected to miss his 16th consecutive game.


Stat pack

The Sharks were 0-for-4 on the power play against Tampa Bay; they are 0-for-23 in their past 10 games. … Thornton has gone 40 games without a goal since scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights on March 18. … The Panthers are 14-for-14 on the penalty kill in their past six games, including 3-for-3 against Columbus.

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