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Canucks at Sharks preview

Eriksson returns for Vancouver; San Jose seeks sixth win in seven games

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

CANUCKS (8-6-2) AT SHARKS (8-6-0)



The Game

Forward Loui Eriksson will return after missing 12 games with a sprained left knee when the Vancouver Canucks play the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday.

The Canucks are 2-3-1 after a four-game winning streak and are coming off a 4-1 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom will make his seventh straight start.

Backup goalie Aaron Dell will make his fourth start of the season for the Sharks, who will play the first of back-to-back games. The Sharks are 4-1-0 in their past five games, but they're coming off a 5-1 home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. San Jose was 5-0-0 against the Canucks last season.


Players to watch

Canucks center Bo Horvat has two goals, including one game-winner, and four assists in his past four games.

Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi has five goals, all in his past nine games. Donskoi was promoted from the third to the first line against Tampa Bay.


They said it

"It's never easy when you get hurt. All you can do is just stay positive and have a good rehab. We've been doing a good job. I'm happy to be back here, and I'm ready to go ." -- Canucks forward Loui Eriksson on returning to the lineup from a knee injury

"We have to bounce back. We have to be a lot better than we were against Tampa Bay. I think that's the sign of a good team. Every time you play a bad game you bounce back and get back on track." -- Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi


Canucks projected lineup

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Brock Boeser

Markus Granlund -- Brandon Sutter -- Derek Dorsett

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Loui Eriksson

Thomas Vanek -- Alexander Burmistrov -- Sam Gagner

Alexander Edler -- Derrick Pouliot

Michael Del Zotto -- Alex Biega

Ben Hutton -- Erik Gudbranson

Jacob Markstrom

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch, Jake Virtanen, Brendan Gaunce

Injured: Troy Stecher (knee), Christopher Tanev (thumb)


Sharks projected lineup

Joonas Donskoi -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Melker Karlsson -- Logan Couture -- Tomas Hertl

Jannik Hansen -- Chris Tierney -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Barclay Goodrow -- Joel Ward

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Tim Heed

Aaron Dell

Martin Jones

Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Dylan DeMelo

Injured: Paul Martin (ankle)


Status report

Nilsson returned after missing three games for the birth of his child. Goaltender Thatcher Demko was returned to Utica of the American Hockey League. Burmistrov will play after being scratched against Anaheim. … Martin has been skating with the Sharks for a week but will miss his 13th straight game. Hansen will move from the fourth to the third line, trading spots with Meier.


Stat pack

Boeser has 14 points with five goals and nine assists in 13 games. … Thornton has 1,013 career assists; he is one shy of tying Joe Sakic for 12th place on the NHL's all-time list.

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