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Sharks-Senators Preview @NHLdotcom

The San Jose Sharks didn't fare all too well the last time they played consecutive road games against opponents from the Eastern Conference.

On Thursday night, the Sharks look to bounce back from a loss to their biggest rival in the West while trying for a third straight victory over the Ottawa Senators.

San Jose (41-9-9) had its four-game winning streak snapped in a 4-1 loss at Detroit on Wednesday. The Sharks, the West's top team with 91 points, split the four-game season series with the Red Wings - second in the conference - and now head to eastern Canada for a pair of games.

The Sharks are 1-1-0 on a four-game trip that continues with their first visit to Ottawa since winning 2-0 there on Jan. 12, 2006, and concludes at Montreal on Saturday. These contests are San Jose's last against opponents from the East.

Though the Sharks are 11-2-3 versus the East, they went 1-1-2 on an eastern road swing from Feb. 10-15. San Jose opened with a win at Boston, before consecutive shootout losses at Pittsburgh and Buffalo and a 6-5 defeat at New Jersey.

"We still want to be playing our best hockey down the stretch," backup goalie Brian Boucher told the Sharks' official Web site. "At the end of the day, you have to look at the big picture."

San Jose hopes for a better offensive showing after Christan Ehrhoff's power-play goal in the second period was the only shot to get by Detroit's Ty Conklin. The Sharks were shut down after outscoring their opponents 12-5 during their recent winning streak.

Milan Michalek added an assist Wednesday for his fourth point in five games.

Evgeni Nabokov made 29 saves to fall to 32-8-7. He could he give way to Boucher in this back-to-back scenario as he did in a similar situation on the team's previous trip. Boucher is 9-1-2 with a 1.79 goals-against average.

Nabokov, though, has allowed only two goals on 59 shots in the Sharks' last two contests versus Ottawa.

Patrick Marleau has failed to earn a point in his last three games, but he had two goals in San Jose's 3-2 overtime home win over the Senators on March 5 in the teams' most recent meeting. He also scored in the Sharks' last trip to Ottawa.

The Senators avoided a fourth straight loss with a 4-2 home win over Carolina on Tuesday.

Dany Heatley scored his 30th goal and Mike Comrie added his first in his second game since being acquired from the New York Islanders.

Ottawa scored three times in the first period and recorded more than three goals for the first time in five games.

"We talked about it a lot the last couple of days," said Heatley, who reached the 30-goal mark for the fourth straight season. "We came out, scored some goals and took the momentum right away."

Heatley has two goals and two assists in five career games against San Jose.

Alex Auld made 41 saves against Carolina to improve to 12-14-6 with a 2.46 GAA. He could be in goal again despite losing his last five starts against San Jose.

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