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game preview

Sharks at Penguins preview

San Jose seeking eighth victory in 10 games; Pittsburgh has won five of six

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

SHARKS (35-17-8) at PENGUINS (32-21-7)



The Game

The San Jose Sharks will try for their eighth win in 10 games when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday.

Despite losing 6-5 in overtime to the Boston Bruins on Monday, the Sharks are 7-1-1 in their past nine games and 14-4-1 in their past 19. They have allowed two goals in six of their past eight games.

San Jose is second in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference, three points behind the Calgary Flames, entering the opener of a four-game road trip.

The Penguins, who have scored at least four goals in five of six games, are 4-1-0 since an 0-3-1 slide. They are third in the Metropolitan Division, five points behind the first-place New York Islanders and two points behind the Washington Capitals for second place.

It's the last game for Pittsburgh before the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series against the Philadelphia Flyers at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, SN1, TVAS2).


Players to watch

Sharks forward Tomas Hertl has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past nine games.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has two goals and 10 assists during a six-game point streak.


They said it

"We're playing well. They're playing well. It's a good measuring stick for both teams." -- Sharks forward Joe Thornton

"It's going to be a good matchup. They present a lot of different challenges. You just try to make sure you bring your best." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby


Sharks projected lineup

Timo Meier -- Logan Couture -- Joe Pavelski

Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joonas Donskoi

Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Micheal Haley -- Barclay Goodrow -- Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Radim Simek -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched; Joakim Ryan, Tim Heed, Lukas Radil

Injured: None


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Bryan Rust

Zach Aston-Reese -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Jared McCann -- Nick Bjugstad -- Patric Hornqvist

Tanner Pearson -- Matt Cullen -- Dominik Simon

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Jack Johnson -- Justin Schultz

Marcus Pettersson -- Chad Ruhwedel

Casey DeSmith

Matt Murray

Scratched: Garrett Wilson , Juuso Riikola, Teddy Blueger

Injured: Olli Maatta (upper body)


Status report

The Sharks claimed Haley off waivers from the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. He played three seasons with San Jose from 2014-17. ... The Penguins are expected to use the same lines and defense pairs that dressed for their 4-3 victory at the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.


Stat pack

Vlasic needs two points to reach 300 in the NHL, and Labanc needs two points for 100. ... Cullen will play his 1,495th NHL game, which will tie Phil Housley for the third in games played by a United States-born player. ... Malkin has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) during an eight-game point streak, and 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in his past 18 games.

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