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Sharks at Flyers preview

Couture could return for San Jose; Grant, Thompson expected to debut for Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

SHARKS (26-32-4) at FLYERS (35-20-7)



The Game

Logan Couture will be a game-time decision for the San Jose Sharks against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Couture, the Sharks captain, has been out with a fractured ankle sustained when he fell into the boards against the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 7. He was expected to need at least six weeks to recover; Tuesday marks seven weeks since he was injured.

Goalie Aaron Dell will start for the Sharks, who have lost their past four games, and will be playing for the first time since trading forwards Patrick Marleau to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Barclay Goodrow to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.

The Flyers, who have won three straight games and are 12-4-1 in their past 17, will have forwards Derek Grant and Nate Thompson, each acquired in trades Monday, in the lineup.

Carter Hart will start for Philadelphia, which is three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second in the Metropolitan Division, and one point ahead of the fourth-place New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets.


Players to watch

Sharks forward Timo Meier has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past nine games.

Flyers goalie Carter Hart is 12-1-0 with a 1.61 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in his past 13 games at home.


They said it

"It's up to how he feels with when he gets off the ice and he's talking to the trainers. It's completely his decision. We're preparing for both ways, we have lineups with him and without him and power-play units with him and without him." -- Sharks coach Bob Boughner, on the potential return of forward Logan Couture

"It's the nature of the business. I've done this a couple times so I've got a little practice. You get thrown in the fire but it's exciting. You feel like you're getting a new life when you come to a new team. It seems like a great group of guys and can't wait to get going." -- Flyers forward Nate Thompson


Sharks projected lineup

Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Dylan Gambrell

Evander Kane -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc

Antti Suomela -- Joel Kellman -- Stefan Noesen

Marcus Sorensen -- Alexander True -- Noah Gregor

Jacob Middleton -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Tim Heed

Radim Simek -- Mario Ferraro

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Lean Bergmann, Maxim Letunov, Brandon Davidson

Injured: Tomas Hertl (knee), Dalton Prout (concussion), Erik Karlsson (broken thumb), Melker Karlsson (lower body)


Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Scott Laughton -- Kevin Hayes -- Travis Konecny 

James van Riemsdyk -- Derek Grant -- Tyler Pitlick

Michael Raffl -- Nate Thompson -- Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Ivan Provorov -- Matt Niskanen

Travis Sanheim -- Philippe Myers

Robert Hagg -- Justin Braun

Carter Hart

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Shayne Gostisbehere

Injured: Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder)


Status report

Forwards Bergmann and Letunov were recalled from San Jose of the American Hockey League on Tuesday but neither will play. Davidson, a defenseman acquired in a trade with the Calgary Flames on Monday, will not play. ... The Sharks sent defenseman Nicholas Meloche to the AHL on Tuesday ... The Flyers sent forwards Joel Farabee and Connor Bunnaman to Lehigh Valley of the AHL on Monday.


Stat pack

Labanc has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in six games against the Flyers and is two assists from 100 in the NHL. Meier had his first NHL hat trick against the Flyers on Dec. 28 at SAP Center. ... Konecny has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his last eight games, and needs two assists for 100 in the NHL. Couturier has six points (four goals, two assists) during a six-game point streak.

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