Preview: Sharks Host Shaky Lightning

The San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning conclude their season series tonight at the SAP Center. The Lightning are in the midst of a six-game road trip, and the Sharks will play yet again on back-to-back nights.

Lightning Recharging on the Road

The Lightning visit San Jose for their third match in a six-game road trip. The Bolts picked up three of four points so far, with an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday before heading north to face the Sharks. Valtteri Filppula is the hot hand for Tampa Bay right now, with a goal and four assists in his last five games.

The rebounding road record could not have come at a better time. The Bolts are three points back of the Ottawa Senators for the final Wild Card spot.

Goaltending has not been what the Bolts were expecting coming into the year. Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy combined are allowing 2.89 goals per game, and both netminders are struggling in high and medium danger save-percentage.

SAVE chart by Ian Fleming

Tampa Bay could be without Victor Hedman again tonight. The Lightning’s top defenseman missed the last two games due to illness.

Sharks Return to Winning Ways

San Jose beat the Los Angeles Kings last night 3-2 in the final regular-season matchup between the California rivals to take the season series.

Brent Burns (Photo credit Zeke/THW)

Brent Burns and Tommy Wingels scored in the first period, and Joe Pavelski potted what would be the game-winning goal in the second. Martin Jones shut down the Kings the rest of the way and stopped 22 shots en route to the victory.

The Sharks bottom-six forwards continue to contribute despite a rotating cast. Micheal Haley’s saucer pass to Tommy Wingels got the versatile forward his fifth goal of the season. Outside of a 4-0 loss against the St. Louis Blues, the Sharks bottom lines have added eight goals in their last six games.

Tampa Bay Lightning at San Jose Sharks

SAP Center – 7:30 p.m. PST

Broadcast channels – SUN, CSN-CA

Radio: Sharks Radio Network

2016-17 Season Series: 

November 12, 2016: Sharks 3 – Lightning 1

San Jose Sharks – 27-16-2 (56 Points)

Home Record: 15-6-1

Hot Players: Brent Burns, Martin Jones

Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl, Joonas Donskoi, Dylan DeMelo 

Projected Lines:


Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski

Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Kevin Labanc

Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward

Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson


Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Starting Goaltender:

Aaron Dell

Tampa Bay Lightning – 21-20-5 (47 points)

Road Record: 9-12-3

Hot Players: Valtteri Filppula

Key Injuries: Ryan Callahan, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos

Projected Lines:


Ondrej Palat – Vladislav Namestnikov – Nikita Kucherov

Brian Boyle – Valtteri Filppula – Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn – Tyler Johnson – Erik Condra

Michael Bournival – Cedric Paquette – Gabriel Dumont


Victor Hedman – Anton Stralman

Nikita Nesterov – Jason Garrison

Braydon Coburn – Andrej Sustr

Starting Goaltender

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Brent Burns continues his Norris and Hart Trophy chase. The finely bearded defenseman has 19 goals and leads the Sharks in that category as well as assists. His 175 shots on goal lead the NHL, five more than Alex Ovechkin.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Lightning have lost 11 of their 13 road games since Nov. 20, going 2-8-3 over that stretch.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning in goals (17) and points (41) in 39 games played. He has a goal and an assist in his last five contests.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Sharks have a 18-15-2-2 all-time record against Tampa Bay. The Lightning and the Sharks have split their two-game regular season series each of the last two seasons.