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Sharks look to extend dominance vs. East teams @NHLdotcom

PANTHERS (25-35-8) AT SHARKS (45-17-7)


Last 10: Florida 3-6-1; San Jose 8-1-1

Season series: The San Jose Sharks won their only other game against the Florida Panthers this season, winning 3-0 behind 24 saves from goaltender Alex Stalock.

Big story: Winners of eight of their past 10 games, the Sharks have tied the Anaheim Ducks atop the Pacific Division with 97 points. The two teams will play Thursday. First for the Sharks, though, are the Panthers on Tuesday.

"Home ice, the first spot in division, would be nice for any team," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after a 1-0 win against the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Team Scope:

Panthers: Roberto Luongo lost 4-3 in a shootout against his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, on Sunday. Now the Panthers head west for four games against the top four teams in the Pacific Division.

"We want to be successful," said Jimmy Hayes, who has eight points in his past eight games. "We want to develop as a team. We've got a really young lineup with guys trying to prove themselves. It will be a great road trip for the team. That's what we want to do. We want to end the year on a strong note."

Sharks: The Sharks have won six games in a row and begin a three-game homestand. They are a league-best 25-4-4 at SAP Center.

"We got Florida and then we got Anaheim," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "Two huge games coming up for our team. Things are going well. We've got another game Tuesday at home against Florida who we can't take lightly. We got to keep things going."

The Sharks also are 21-6-3 against Eastern Conference teams. Tuesday will be their 12th straight game against the Eastern Conference, and they're 9-1-1 against the East teams in that run.

"Most of the games are tight. One-goal, overtime -- tight scenarios," McLellan said. "We'll take them."

Who's hot: Panthers forward Brandon Pirri has two goals and three assists in his past four games. Defenseman Brian Campbell has points in three straight games. … Sharks forward Joe Pavelski has nine points in his past eight games.

Injury report: Panthers forwards Tomas Kopecky (concussion), Aleksander Barkov (knee) and defenseman Alex Petrovic (upper body) are on injured reserve. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson (knee) and forward Jesse Winchester (lower body) are out indefinitely. Forward Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body) left the game Sunday and forward Sean Bergenheim (lower body) did not play Sunday. ... Sharks forward Tomas Hertl (knee) and defenseman Brad Stuart (upper body) are on IR. Forward Raffi Torres (soreness) did not play Sunday.

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