Preview: Sharks Aim to Avoid Sweep Against Bruins

The San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins wrap up the season series with the last of two games between the two coasts. Boston is holding on by a claw to its playoff hopes while the Sharks will head into their bye week after this game with at least a share of the Pacific Division lead.

Bruins Hanging on out East

If the playoffs started today, the Boston Bruins would hold the eighth and final spot out in the Eastern Conference. As the second wild card.

David Pastrnak
(Wikimedia Commons/Lisa Gansky)

While being in a playoff spot with 24 games to play is good news, the bad news is everyone in the east is still in it. The Bruins are at 64 points while last place is a tie between the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes, who sit at 56 points a piece. That’s just eight points separating the cellar of the division from a ticket to the big dance. Today’s game against the Sharks is not a do or die for Boston: every game is.

The Bruins big guns of  Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak lead the way for the squad. Marchand is first on the Bruins in points (58), and assists (34) and third-year winger David Pastrnak’s 25 goals paces Boston and places him tied for 11th in the NHL.

The Bruins have won all three games since they released Claude Jullian from his coaching duties on Feb. 7.

Sharks Headline

(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

After a three-goal first period for Boston, head coach Peter DeBoer yanked Martin Jones, and the Bruins held on to defeat the Sharks 6-3 thanks to two power-play goals by Pastrnak. Aaron Dell, who won last night against the Arizona Coyotes, took the loss but today Jones looks to redemption. The Sharks second-year starter is playing at his career averages, but the rhythm of his game has been off. The heavy workload thus far is a likely contributor. The defense has also slipped in the last half-dozen games with Paul Martin and David Schlemko noticeably struggling at times. The Sharks still have plenty of time to steady the ship, but some adjustments are certainly needed.

sharks top prospects
(Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports)

Nikolay Goldobin played his first NHL game in over a year skating alongside Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward on the Sharks third line.The 2014 first round pick played well enough to stay in the lineup as Jonas Donskoi continues to rest his injured shoulder.

The Sharks fourth line of Melker Kalrsson (goal, two assists), Micheal Haley (goal, assist) and Chris Tierney (somehow no points) had a strong showing against Arizona.

Kevin Labanc has four assists in his last four games and sticking with the Sharks top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.


Boston Bruins at San Jose Sharks

SAP Center – 5:30 p.m. PST

Broadcast channels – NBCSN

Radio: Sharks Radio Network

2016-17 Season Series: 

Feb. 9: Bruins 6 – Sharks 3

San Jose Sharks – 35-18-6 (76 Points)

Home Record: 18-7-3

Hot Players: Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc, Brent Burns

Key Injuries: Dylan DeMelo, Joonas Donskoi

Projected Lines:


Kevin Labanc – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker

Nikolay Goldobin – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward

Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Melker Karlsson


Paul Martin – Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Starting Goaltender:

Martin Jones (Expected)

Boston Bruins – 28-23-6 (64 Points)

Road Record: 14-10-6

Hot Players: David Pastrnak, David Krejci, Torey Krug

Key Injuries: Austin Czarnik 

Projected Lines:


Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes

Peter Cehlarik – David Krejci – David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano – Ryan Spooner – Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash


Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller – Colin Miller


Tuukka Rask (Expected)

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, NHL
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Brent Burns season is running out of superlatives. The Norris Trophy front-runner had two goals against the Coyotes and now has 27 markers on the season, tying his career high set last year.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Patrick Marleau skated in his 600th consecutive game on Feb. 15 vs. Florida and became the 10th player in NHL history to appear in 600 consecutive regular-season games. According to Elias Sports Bureau, four active players are among those 10 players: Andrew Cogliano (active streak), Jay Bouwmeester (737 games), Henrik Sedin (679 games) and Keith Yandle (active streak).

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Bruins have won all three games since Bruce Cassidy was named as interim head coach on Feb. 7, which began with a 6-3 win over the Sharks. The Bruins are now 6-2-0 in their last eight games overall and are 3-3- 2 in their last eight on the road.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]David Pastrnak is currently riding a five-game point streak entering tonight’s game with five goals and five assists over that stretch. The talented Czech winger will be a restricted free agent this summer and look for the Bruins to lock him up long term.


Brad Marchand (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]Brad Marchand has found the scoresheet in 13 of his last 18 games and recorded 27 points during that time, including a career-high tying five-point game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan 14.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]6)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Sharks are 12-17-5-1 in franchise history against the Bruins. Since the Sharks acquired Thornton on Nov. 30, 2005, San Jose is 8-5-0-1 when taking on Boston.