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Preview: Canucks at Sharks

San Jose, without Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, looks to gain in Pacific; Nikolay Goldobin returns for Vancouver

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (30-39-9) at SHARKS (44-28-7)

10:30 p.m. ET; SNP, NBCS CA+, NHL.TV

 

Canucks team scope

Vancouver Canucks forward Nikolay Goldobin will return to the lineup and play against the San Jose Sharks for the first time since they traded him to Vancouver on Feb. 28 for forward Jannik Hansen and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Goldobin will skate on the top line at right wing with center Henrik Sedin and left wing Daniel Sedin. Goldobin was a healthy scratch in a 3-1 loss to the Sharks on Sunday at Rogers Arena, and coach Willie Desjardins told The Province that he needed to work harder and prove that he can go hard at this level. Goldobin has one goal in eight games with the Canucks. "Just work hard," he said after an optional morning skate. "As the coach said, be more engaged. I will try to be." Backup goaltender Richard Bachman will make his fourth start. He's 2-1-0 with a 1.69 goals-against average. Bachman is 1-1-0 with a 2.57 GAA in three games against the Sharks in his career. "It's going to be a good test for me personally and for our group right now," Bachman said.

 

Sharks team scope

The Sharks, who have clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and are in third place in the Pacific Division, trail the first-place Anaheim Ducks by four points and the second-place Edmonton Oilers by two. San Jose is three points ahead of the fourth-place Calgary Flames. The Sharks will be without first-line center Joe Thornton and second-line center Logan Couture. Thornton sustained a left-knee injury late in the first period against Vancouver on Sunday when he collided with forward Michael Chaput along the boards. Couture will miss his fifth straight game since he was hit in the mouth by a deflected puck on a Brent Burns shot against the Nashville Predators on March 25. Coach Peter DeBoer said each player is day to day. "The young guys have to grab the opportunity of this and make the most of it and make a name for themselves," DeBoer said of playing without Thornton and Couture. "The guys who haven't had great years need to stand up and fix that, and the guys who have had great years need to continue on at that level. It's everybody. But I really believe this; we're built for this depth-wise and also structure. We're not a team built around one guy. There's not one person. We're more of the sum of our parts and our foundation and our play."

 
Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Nikolay Goldobin

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Reid Boucher -- Brandon Sutter -- Michael Chaput

Griffen Molino -- Drew Shore -- Jayson Megna

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Richard Bachman

Ryan Miller

Scratched:  Philip Larsen, Alex Biega

Injured: Loui Eriksson (knee), Joseph Cramarossa (lower body), Jack Skille (ankle), Markus Granlund (wrist surgery), Brendan Gaunce (hand), Jacob Markstrom (knee), Anton Rodin (knee), Erik Gudbranson (wrist)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Kevin Labanc -- Patrick Marleau -- Joe Pavelski

Jannik Hansen -- Tomas Hertl -- Mikkel Boedker

Joonas Donskoi -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward

Timo Meier -- Melker Karlsson -- Marcus Sorensen

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Micheal Haley

Injured: Logan Couture (face), Joe Thornton (knee)

 

Status report

Jones was the first Sharks goaltender off the ice and is expected to make his 64th start. ... The Sharks had an optional morning skate so it is unknown what the line combinations will be. It's possible that Pavelski could move to center on the top line, bumping Marleau, Hertl and Tierney each down a line. Haley, who has often centered the fourth line, stayed late on the ice and likely will be scratched. ... Eriksson did not make the trip to San Jose and will miss his 14th straight game.

 

Who's hot

Marleau has five points (four goals, one assist) in his past seven games. ... Hansen has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past four games.

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