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San Jose Sharks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets @NHLdotcom
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 Jackets.

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 (0-3-0-1).

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 seven games.

The Sharks have won 10 of 14 meetings with the Blue Jackets. The teams conclude their season series Feb. 23 in San Jose.

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