Sharks-Blue Jackets Preview
GAME: San Jose Sharks (26-15-11-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (16-29-8-3).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
Now is not a good time for the San Jose Sharks to go on their longest losing
streak of the season.
San Jose looks to avoid dropping three straight for the first time in
2003-04 when it continues its six-game road trip against the Columbus Blue
The Pacific Division-leading Sharks headed into the All-Star break feeling
good about themselves after consecutive shutout victories over the Florida
Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes.
San Jose, however, has lost the first two games of its trip since returning
to action. The Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings are creeping closer to the
Sharks in the division.
"We're a first-place club but if we play like this, we're not going to be
for very long," Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren said after San Jose lost 4-2 to
Detroit on Wednesday.
The Sharks have lost two straight in regulation for the first time since
Oct. 18-21, and are trying to avoid three consecutive defeats for the first
time since March 8-11. San Jose has also dropped four in a row on the road
Columbus beat Los Angeles 3-2 in overtime at home Wednesday in its first
game back from the break, but fell 4-1 on the road one night later to the
Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It was just a case of us playing last night," Columbus coach Gerard
Gallant said. "We looked tired. We worked hard and competed, but our top
scorers just didn't get the scoring chances they usually get."
Columbus has one win in its last four contests, and is 2-4-1 in its last
The Sharks have won 10 of 14 meetings with the Blue Jackets. The teams
conclude their season series Feb. 23 in San Jose.