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Sharks-Blues Preview @NHLdotcom

Any road game these days for the San Jose Sharks is usually a recipe for success. Playing in St. Louis has been particularly enjoyable lately.

The Sharks try to extend a franchise-record seven-game road winning streak Friday night when they meet the Blues for the first time this season.

After going winless on a three-game homestand, the Sharks (19-12-5) probably didn't mind opening a four-game road trip Wednesday against last-place Los Angeles. Their uncanny road success continued with a 3-2 victory, as Milan Michalek scored twice and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 29 shots.

San Jose improved to 13-3-2 away from home, tying Ottawa for the league's best mark. The Sharks have outscored opponents 22-10 during the seven-game streak, which surpassed the previous club record set Nov. 30-Dec. 19, 2001.

"We get out to good starts on the road," coach Ron Wilson said. "It's easier to play on the road when you have a one-goal or two-goal lead. It seems a lot more difficult to do that at home because everybody tries to get fancy."

Despite their remarkable road play, the Sharks find themselves five points behind Pacific-leading Dallas because their 6-9-3 home record is among the worst in the NHL.

The Sharks have dominated the Blues in recent years, going 8-1-1 in the past 10 meetings. San Jose has scored 24 goals during five straight wins at St. Louis since a 4-2 loss on Dec. 18, 2003.

Nabokov, who has started all 36 games this season, has limited the Blues to one goal or less in three of his last four starts against them.

Wednesday also saw the return of left wing Jonathan Cheechoo to the San Jose lineup. Cheechoo, a disappointment this season with four goals in 29 games, missed seven games with a groin injury.

Star center Joe Thornton assisted on Michalek's second goal of the game for his team-leading 41st point. Thornton has only one goal in his last 10 games.

Sharks defenseman Craig Rivet could face a suspension after he was ejected with 2:40 left in the third period for cross-checking Los Angeles' Ladislav Nagy in the throat. Rivet was given an attempt-to-injure penalty, which carries an automatic review.

The Blues (18-13-3) were shut out for the fifth time this season, 5-0 by Chris Osgood and league-leading Detroit on Wednesday.

Manny Legace was replaced by Hannu Toivonen at 7:37 of the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots.

St. Louis dropped to 2-4-2 in its last eight games in front of a crowd of 19,250 - the largest of the season at Scottrade Center.

"We played them hard," coach Andy Murray. "We recognize them for what they are - a great team."

Paul Kariya leads the Blues with 31 points, but has gone a season-high eight games without a goal. He does, however, have five goals in his last eight games against San Jose.

St. Louis will be without rugged defenseman Barret Jackman for at least the next three games after he was placed on injured reserve Thursday. Jackman, tied for the team lead with 40 penalty minutes, suffered a concussion in the second period Wednesday following a hit from Detroit's Johan Franzen.

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