Brodie & Kevin: Looking for more effort
Since scoring 23 goals through the first five games, the Sharks have just 24 in the last 17 games. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
INSIDE THE MATCHUP
- This is the only time the Blues play at San Jose this season. Last season, St. Louis won both meetings in San Jose, both by two goals. The Sharks have won the only meeting this season between the teams, 2-1, at St. Louis on February 19.
- The Blues are coming off a come-from-behind (trailed 2-1) 6-3 win at Phoenix on Thursday night, two nights after blowing at 4-1 lead in a 6-4 loss at Los Angeles. St. Louis has won back-to-back games, both in regulation, only once this season: January 24 vs. Nsh & January 26 at Dal.
- San Jose is 7-1-3 at home this season and has gone 10 consecutive home games without allowing a power-play goal (allowed two PPG in its first home game of the season versus Phoenix).
- Patrik Berglund scored two goals on Thursday night in Phoenix. It was Berglund's first multi-goal game since Game 1 of the 2012 first round versus San Jose (2 goals) and his first regular-season multi-goal game since January 24, 2012 versus Pittsburgh (2 goals).
- Chris Stewart has six points (2 goals & 4 assists) and has a +4 plus/minus rating in the last two games.
- The Sharks have scored two goals or less in 12 consecutive games. Antti Niemi's 1.83 GAA is third best in the NHL and second best in the Western Conference.
Programming note: Sharks-Blues coverage gets under way today at 12:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only Comcast SportsNet California. Stick around after the game for Sharks Postgame Live.
Where they stand
Sharks: 11-7-4, 26 points, 3rd Pacific Division, 6th Western Conference
Blues: 12-9-2, 26 points, 3rd Central Division, 8th Western Conference
Goals per game: 2.14 (29th)
Goals-against per game: 2.14 (3rd)
Power play: 16.7 percent (17th)
Penalty kill: 88.0 percent (3rd)
Goals per game: 2.96 (9th)
Goals-against per game: 3.00 (24th)
Power play: 26.7 percent (2nd)
Penalty kill: 81.0 percent (17th)
Logan Couture - Joe Thornton – Tommy Wingels
Joe Pavelski - Patrick Marleau – Tim Kennedy
James Sheppard - Scott Gomez – Ryane Clowe
Andrew Desjardins – Michael Handzus – Adam Burish
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brad Stuart
Douglas Murray – Jason Demers
Jaden Schwartz – David Backes – T.J. Oshie
David Perron – Patrik Berglund – Chris Stewart
Chris Porter – Vladimir Sobotka – Matt D’Agostini
Adam Cracknell – Scott Nichol – Ryan Reaves
Wade Redden – Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman – Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell – Roman Polak
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Tommy Wingels. The young forward is set to return after a five-game absence, and it appears he’ll start the game on the top line with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture. The Sharks continue to search for the right forward combinations to generate offense, so perhaps Wingels’ physical play can create space for two of San Jose’s primary scorers.
Blues: Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues’ defenseman is ninth in the NHL with 25:46 of ice time per game, and it’s likely Ken Hitchcock will try and get him out against the Thornton line as much as possible. Pietrangelo can also put the puck in the net, and has five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.
Sharks: Blake Comeau and Jarome Iginla scored third period goals and Curtis Glencross added an empty-netter as Calgary beat the Sharks at the Saddledome on Wednesday night, 4-1. Joe Thornton had San Jose’s lone goal, while Thomas Greiss took the loss in net with 22 saves.
Blues: The Blues scored three times in less than five minutes in the second period and beat the Coyotes in Phoenix on Thursday, 6-3. Chris Stewart had a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while linemate Patrik Berglund scored twice. Jake Allen got the win, with 23 saves.
Sharks: Brent Burns (left leg) and Marty Havlat (lower body) are out. Thomas Greiss (sore neck) is doubtful.
Blues: Jamie Langenbrunner (hip), Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion), Andy McDonald (left knee) and Alex Steen (upper body) are out.
The Sharks beat the Blues, 2-1 in St. Louis, on Feb. 19 behind goals from Joe Thornton and Tim Kennedy. Antti Niemi made 25 saves in what was San Jose’s lone victory on its six-game road swing.
The teams meet again on Tuesday in St. Louis to close out the season series.
“The hunger and the drive to score, I want to see more of that. There are too many things that go into goal scoring. It’s not just the guy with the puck, it’s the guys without it.” – Dan Boyle