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Sharks at Canucks preview

Thornton will move into 10th in games played in NHL history; Vancouver has won three of four

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

SHARKS (21-24-4) at CANUCKS (26-18-4)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, NBCSCA, NHL.TV


The Game 

Joe Thornton will play his 1,616th game to pass Larry Murphy for 10th place in NHL history when the San Jose Sharks visit the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

The 40-year-old center, who is in his 22nd season, is three points shy of becoming the 14th player in League history to reach 1,500.

San Jose has lost two straight games, including 4-0 to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, after going 4-1-1 in its previous six.

Thatcher Demko will start for the third time in the past 19 games for Vancouver, which has won three of its past four and seven straight at home.


Players to watch 

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past seven games and is two shy of 600 in the NHL.

Canucks forward Bo Horvat has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in his past nine games.


They said it

"I just think [Marcus Sorensen] has been off and for me, I need more relentlessness, I need urgency, being on the inside a little more and not so much perimeter, and he understands that and he's not the only one, there's a few other guys in there as well. So it's a bit of a message and at the same time, [Joachim Blichfeld] is an offensive player and we can always use a little of that in our lineup." -- Sharks coach Bob Boughner on scratching Sorensen for the first time this season and moving Blichfeld to the top line in his third NHL game

"We're playing well on home ice, the crowds have been into it, it's easy to get up for these games so you know, hopefully (we) can get another one on home ice tonight before the [NHL All-Star break]." -- Canucks captain Bo Horvat 


Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joachim Blichfeld

Barclay Goodrow -- Antti Suomela -- Patrick Marleau 

Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Melker Karlsson -- Joel Kellman -- Stefan Noesen

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns

Radim Simek -- Mario Ferraro

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Tim Heed, Marcus Sorensen 

Injured: Logan Couture (fractured ankle), Dalton Prout (upper body)


Canucks projected lineup 

J.T. Miller -- Elias Pettersson -- Jake Virtanen

Tanner Pearson -- Bo Horvat -- Loui Eriksson

Antoine Roussel -- Adam Gaudette -- Brock Boeser

Tyler Motte -- Jay Beagle -- Brandon Sutter

Quinn Hughes -- Christopher Tanev 

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Oscar Fantenberg -- Tyler Myers

Thatcher Demko

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Zack MacEwen, Jordie Benn, Tim Schaller

Injured: Josh Leivo (kneecap), Micheal Ferland (upper body), Tyler Graovac (lower body)


Status report

Sorensen, who was playing left wing on the third line, has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 46 games this season but one assist his past 19.


Stat pack

Marleau is one point from 1,100 with the Sharks. … Miller has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past five games.

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