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game preview

Canucks at Sharks preview

Karlsson set to return for San Jose, which has 12-game point streak against Vancouver

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (26-26-7) at SHARKS (34-17-7)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, NBCSCA, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Erik Karlsson will return to the lineup after missing nine games with a groin injury when the San Jose Sharks host the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center on Saturday.

The defenseman, who will play for the first time since Jan. 16, has 43 points (three goals, 40 assists) in 47 games this season for the Sharks, who are in second place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Calgary Flames.

San Jose has a 12-game point streak (11-0-1) against Vancouver; the Canucks have not defeated the Sharks since a 4-2 win at SAP Center on March 31, 2016. San Jose has won seven straight home games against Vancouver.

The Sharks are 6-1-0 in their past seven games and 13-4-0 in their past 17.

The Canucks, 2-4-1 in their past seven games after going 4-1-1 in their previous six games, are one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

 

Players to watch

Canucks forward Elias Pettersson has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 10 games since returning from a knee injury.

Sharks forward Evander Kane has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past four games.

 

They said it  

"It's one of the best teams in the League. We've got our hands full. We're going to need our best game of the trip tonight." -- Canucks coach Travis Green

"Huge. He's one of the best defensemen in the League, in the world, for a reason. For us it was nice to be able to win some games without him, let him heal." -- Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon on defenseman Erik Karlsson's return

 

Canucks projected lineup

Josh Leivo -- Elias Pettersson -- Brock Boeser

Antoine Roussel -- Bo Horvat -- Nikolay Goldobin

Markus Granlund -- Adam Gaudette -- Tyler Motte

Loui Eriksson -- Jay Beagle -- Zack MacEwen

Ben Hutton -- Troy Stecher

Guillaume Brisebois -- Erik Gudbranson

Derrick Pouliot -- Alex Biega

Jacob Markstrom

Marek Mazanec

Scratched: Tim Schaller, Luke Schenn

Injured: Christopher Tanev (ankle), Sven Baertschi (concussion), Alexander Edler (concussion), Thatcher Demko (knee), Brandon Sutter (groin), Jake Virtanen (upper body)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Timo Meier -- Logan Couture -- Joe Pavelski

Evander Kane -- Tomas Hertl -- Joonas Donskoi

Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Barclay Goodrow -- Dylan Gambrell -- Melker Karlsson

Radim Simek -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Erik Karlsson

Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Joakim Ryan, Lukas Radil, Tim Heed

Injured: None

 

Status report

The Canucks acquired forward Ryan Spooner in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for forward Sam Gagner on Saturday. Spooner has five points (three goals, two assists) in 41 games with the New York Rangers and Oilers this season. Virtanen was placed on injured reserve, opening a roster spot for Spooner. … Gambrell will return to the lineup after being scratched two games.

 

Stat pack

Boeser is one point shy of 100 in the NHL. … Eriksson is playing in his 900th NHL game. … Burns has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his past eight games. … Labanc has five goals in a three-game goal streak.

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