SHARKS (8-6-2) at PANTHERS (4-4-4)
TV: CSN-CA, FS-F
San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl was back on the top line Tuesday at the morning skate prior to the game at BB&T Center against the Florida Panthers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Hertl skated with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and Matt Nieto was moved onto a line with James Sheppard and Tyler Kennedy.
"We think Tomas has worked hard, he's had chemistry with those two in the past and worked his way back into that opportunity, and he'll get it [Tuesday]," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said, according to the Mercury News. "I think Nieto and Kennedy can add a lot of speed to Sheppard's line. That's the thought process behind it. Will it work? We'll see."
Hertl has one goal and four points in the past four games after an eight-game stretch in which he had one assist.
The Panthers will host their Military Appreciation Night on Tuesday, with United States Army Brigadier General (retired) Pete Dawkins dropping the ceremonial first puck before the start of the game.
Here are the projected lineups:
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Matt Nieto – James Sheppard – Tyler Kennedy
Barclay Goodrow – Andrew Desjardins – Adam Burish
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns
Mirco Mueller – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers
Injured: Mike Brown (hand), Raffi Torres (knee)
Tomas Kopecky – Aleksander Barkov – Scottie Upshall
Jonathan Huberdeau – Nick Bjugstad – Brad Boyes
Jussi Jokinen – Vincent Trocheck – Jimmy Hayes
Tomas Fleischmann – Derek MacKenzie – Shawn Thornton
Willie Mitchell – Aaron Ekblad
Brian Campbell – Colby Robak
Dylan Olsen – Erik Gudbranson
Injured: Dave Bolland (lower body), Brandon Pirri (concussion), Sean Bergenheim (lower body), Dmitry Kulikov (lower body)
Status report: McLellan also changed up his defensive pairs, splitting up Vlasic and Braun. "When things don't go well, normally up front they change the lines, and on the back end they're doing the same thing. They've changed before," Vlasic said according to the Mercury News. … Bergenheim took part in the Panthers morning skate, but won't play Tuesday according to the Miami Herald.
Who's hot: Pavelski comes off a two-goal game and has five points in as many games. … Bjugstad has goals in consecutive games and Upshall comes off a two-goal, three-point game against the Calgary Flames.