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Preview: Sharks at Devils

San Jose playing back-to-back with four straight losses; New Jersey returns after break

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

SHARKS (33-18-5) at DEVILS (23-21-10)

12:30 p.m. ET; MSG +, SN360, SN1, CSN-CA, NHL.TV

Sharks team scope

San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (upper body) is expected to return to the lineup after missing a 2-1 overtime loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. "It was something that kind of came out of left field for the most part," coach Peter DeBoer said. The Sharks have lost four straight games (0-1-3), their longest losing streak of the season. "I think maybe [we're in] a little bit of a funk, not panicking by any means, and we've had games that feel winnable," captain Joe Pavelski said. "It hasn't been good enough, and there's things we can do better and we still can find that extra gear." Center Patrick Marleau scored his 501st NHL goal Saturday; he has eight goals and five assists during a nine-game point streak. Goaltender Martin Jones will start after Aaron Dell made 33 saves Saturday.

Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils resume play following a five-day break; they were 3-0-1 in the four games before it. Defenseman John Moore, who has missed 17 games with a concussion, could return to the lineup. He was skating on a pair with Steven Santini at practice on Saturday, according to The Devils ended a seven-game home losing streak in a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday (0-5-2). Rookie forward Pavel Zacha has four goals and three assists in the past nine games. Zacha had two goals and five assists in his first 37 games this season. Goaltender Cory Schneider is expected to make his fifth straight start; he is 4-5-2 with a 3.14 goals-against average and .908 save percentage against the Sharks. The Devils have not defeated the Sharks at Prudential Center since Feb. 11, 2011 (0-2-2).

Sharks projected lineup

Melker Karlsson -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Tomas Hertl -- Joel Ward

Kevin Labanc -- Chris Tierney -- Micheal Haley

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Tim Heed, Marcus Sorensen

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body)

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Michael Cammalleri

Pavel Zacha -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Joseph Blandisi -- Sergey Kalinin -- PA Parenteau

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

John Moore -- Steven Santini

Seth Helgeson -- Damon Severson

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Devante Smith-Pelly

Injured: Jon Merrill (upper body), Beau Bennett (lower body), Kyle Quincey (upper body)

Status report

Without Couture, the Sharks used these top two lines Saturday. ... The Devils recalled Blandisi from Albany of the America Hockey League on Saturday. … Quincey, who missed the win against the Sabres, did not practice Saturday. … Merrill, who has missed three games, and Bennett, who has missed seven, practiced, according to

Who's hot

Pavelski has two goals and five points in the past six games. ... Henrique has four goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.

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