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Senators aim to slow down surging Sharks

by John Kreiser /

SHARKS (9-1-1) at SENATORS (4-4-2)


Last 10: San Jose 8-1-1

Season series: The San Jose Sharks are going for a sweep of their two-game series against the Ottawa Senators. The Sharks won 3-2 at SAP Center on Oct. 12. San Jose has won six of the past seven games between the teams, including a 3-0 mark at Canadian Tire Centre.

Big story: The Sharks' offense has managed all of three goals in the first three games of a road trip, but San Jose has won two of them -- including a 2-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday -- because it's not giving up many chances at the other end. The Senators followed a terrific performance in a 6-1 road victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday with a 2-1 home loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

Team Scope:

Sharks: San Jose limited Montreal to 22 shots on Saturday and got two goals from Logan Couture. The Sharks are less than one second from being unbeaten in regulation; they lost 2-1 to the Boston Bruins on Thursday on a goal scored with :00.8 left on the clock.

It was the fourth straight game and eighth time in 11 this season in which the Sharks allowed no more than 24 shots. Coach Todd McLellan said shutting down the Canadiens was a team effort.

"We played patient enough to wait for our breaks, and defensively it was a full team commitment," he said. "It wasn't just eight, nine or 10 guys going; everybody did their thing coming back."

Senators: Ottawa spent Friday night playing from behind after allowing the Ducks to score twice in the first period. Coach Paul MacLean said he feels his club has the speed to keep up with fast teams like Anaheim and San Jose, but that his players have to execute better.

"I think so," he said when asked if the Senators have the personnel to play fast. "We certainly believe that we do. Right now for us, the thing that slows us down the most is our execution. We don't pass the puck near quick enough or well enough."

Craig Anderson will be in goal Sunday. Robin Lehner faced a 50-shot barrage and made 47 saves in the loss at San Jose.

Who's hot: Niemi has started every game for the Sharks and leads all goaltenders with nine victories. He's also tied for the League lead with two shutouts and has a goals-against average of 1.53. … Mika Zibanejad had the only goal Friday and has points in both games he's played since being recalled from the minors this week.

Injury report: San Jose was without forward Brent Burns for three games after he took a puck in the mouth. Defenseman Dan Boyle (upper body) could be ready. Adam Burish is out after back surgery. Raffi Torres (knee) and Martin Havlat (pelvis) are nowhere near ready to return. ... The Senators report no injuries, though Clarke MacArthur had a maintenance say Saturday.

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