The San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators face off for the first time during the 2016-17 season tonight, and only a single point separates the two clubs. Sharks netminder Martin Jones looks to have shaken off his early season jitters and has been stellar in the last 30 days. The former Calgary Hitmen netminder has appeared in 11 of the Sharks 13 games over the last month and registered a mindblowing 8-2-0-1 record with a .945 save percentages 1.46 goals against average and two shutouts. His backup Aaron Dell has been decent as well: .951 save percentage and 1.52 goals-against average.
The Sharks continue to hum along despite the loss of third-line center Tomas Hertl and the intermittent loss of defenders. Dylan DeMelo has stepped in, and the Sharks best defensive group in their history has not skipped a beat. Kevin Labanc has continued to impress the Sharks. He has added an offensive spark to the line-up, and during a weekend with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda posted three assists and kickstarted the teams’ offense.
Ottawa is coming off a barn-burner loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-5 on December 5. The Senators come into tonight’s’ contest against the Sharks on a franchise best four-game winning streak against San Jose. Ottawa will be looking for the first three-game winning streak at SAP Center in franchise history. The two teams will play again in eight days when the Sharks travel to the capital of Canada on December 14.
Ottawa Senators at San Jose Sharks
SAP Center – 7:30 p.m. PDT
Broadcast channels – CSN Bay Area
Radio: Sharks Radio Network
2016-17 Season Series: First Matchup of the Season
Ottawa Senators – 15-9-2 – 32 Points
Road Record: 6-4-0
Hot Players: Mike Condon, Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman
Key Injuries: D Fredrik Claesson, LW Clarke MacArthur, D Marc Methot, C Curtis Lazar
Mike Hoffman – Derick Brassard – Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan
Zack Smith – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Tom Pyatt
Buddy Robinson – Chris Kelly – Chris Neil
Andreas Englund – Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf – Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki – Chris Wideman
San Jose Sharks – 15-9-1 – 31 Points
Home Record: 9-3-0
Hot Players: Martin Jones
Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl, David Schlemko
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Mikkel Boedker – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Michael Haley – Tommy Wingels – Kevin Labanc
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Brain
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Jones tonight for #SJSharks
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) December 7, 2016
1)The San Jose Sharks are currently in the midst of their fourth three-game winning streak. The team has yet to string together four wins in a row all season.
2)Mike Condon has been the best goalie for the Ottawa Senators with a .931 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against average in five appearances for the club. Condon was acquired by the Senators on November 2 in exchange for a 2017 fifth-round draft pick.
3)Mike Hoffman is currently on a five-game point streak in which he has recorded five goals and three assists in the last handful of matches. Hoffman is second on the Senators with 19 points in 24 games.
4)Martin Jones and Aaron Dell have combined to allow the second-fewest goals against (49) in the NHL this year. Jones has been a workhorse for San Jose
5)San Jose Sharks face-off woes continue and the team ranks 23rd in the NHL with only a 48.3 percent winning percentage. Ottawa ranks 12th with a 50.1 winning percentage on the draw.
6)Tale of two periods: San Jose Sharks have a plus-12 goal differential in the first period and a minus-eight differential in the second period.