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Sharks try to bounce back vs. Hurricanes

by Mike Battaglino

SHARKS (19-4-5) at HURRICANES (12-12-5)


Last 10: San Jose 8-2-0; Carolina 4-5-1

Season series: This is the first of two games. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Feb. 17, 2012.

Big story: Each team traveled to Raleigh, N.C., after playing Thursday. The Sharks had a six-game win streak end with a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. About an hour later, the Hurricanes won their second straight, 5-2 against the Nashville Predators.

Team Scope:

Sharks: San Jose was trying to become the second team this season to win its 20th game, joining the Chicago Blackhawks.

"I saw some frustrated players, and with the amount of hockey that we've played and that we have to play on this road trip, I didn't think frustration was a real good emotion to have with two periods left," coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area. "So we mixed them around a little bit and hopefully saved a little bit of energy for tomorrow, because we didn't use much tonight."

Goalie Antti Niemi made his seventh straight start and was pulled for the second time this season after allowing four second-period goals. He was replaced by Alex Stalock, who had not played since Nov. 15 and was expected to get this start.

Hurricanes: Carolina is trying to win three in a row for the first time this season. The Hurricanes scored first in each of the wins on their two-game road trip.

"It's nice to get out there for the lead," forward Jeff Skinner told Fox Sports Carolinas. "I think we always want to get off to that good start and build from there. I think [in] the last two games, we've done a good job of that."

The Hurricanes did not have defenseman Mike Komisarek, defenseman Drayson Bowman and forward Patrick Dwyer for much of the third period.

"Everyone chipped in, and that's what we need when we have that many bodies go down," Skinner said. "So hopefully those guys will be all right, but it was a good, tough, team effort tonight."

Who's hot: Sharks center Joe Thornton has three goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak. … Skinner had a hat trick Thursday after a two-goal game in a 4-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera has four goals, three assists and is plus-8 in his past six games. Defenseman Justin Faulk has eight points (two goals) in his past five games. Center Eric Staal has at least a point in 10 of his past 11 games (three goals, 10 assists).

Injury report: Sharks forwards Raffi Torres (knee) and Adam Burish (lower body) are on injured reserve. … Muller did not say if Komisarek (lower body), Bowman (lower body) or Dwyer (undisclosed) will be available. The coach earlier told the Raleigh News & Observer forward Alexander Semin (concussion) has been skating and could play during a four-game road trip that begins Monday against the Vancouver Canucks. Defenseman Brett Bellemore (concussion) did not play Thursday and won't Friday; he was injured Tuesday against Washington. Defenseman Tim Gleason (lower body) did not play Thursday.

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