Sharks return home for showdown with Red Wings
The Red Wings are the only team to shut out the Sharks so far this season, but San Jose won anyway, 1-0 in a shootout at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 21. (AP)
Programming note Red Wings-Sharks coverage gets underway at 7:p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 27-11-6, 60 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference
Red Wings: 19-14-10, 48 points, 4th Atlantic Division, 6th Eastern Conference
Goals per game: 3.11 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.48 (11th)
Power play: 19.1 percent (13th)
Penalty kill: 82.3 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 2.63 (16th)
Goals-against per game: 2.65 (16th)
Power play: 18.2 percent (16th)
Penalty kill: 85.3 percent (5th)
[RELATED: Sharks midseason grades: Forwards]
Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Matt Nieto – Patrick Marleau – Tommy Wingels
Bracken Kearns – Andrew Desjardins – Tyler Kennedy
James Sheppard – John McCarthy – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Dan Boyle
Brad Stuart – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers
Gustav Nyquist – Henrik Zetterberg – Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller – Justin Abdelkader – Todd Bertuzzi
Mikael Samuelsson – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar
Danny Cleary – Luke Glendening – Patrick Eaves
Niklas Kronwall – Brendan Smith
Dan DeKeyser – Kyle Quincey
Brian Lashoff – Jakub Kindl
Sharks: The injury-plagued Sharks return home after losing two of three on a road trip, including 3-2 in Nashville on Tuesday night. Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau were the goal scorers, but Antti Niemi allowed three goals on 28 shots to suffer the loss. San Jose has alternated wins and losses in its last six games, but brings a 15-1-3 home record into tonight’s contest. The Sharks host Boston Saturday.
Red Wings: Detroit kicked off a five-game road trip with a convincing 5-1 win in Dallas last Saturday, so it should be a well-rested club tonight against the Sharks. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice for the Red Wings, who were without Pavel Datsyuk due to a lower body injury, and Jimmy Howard made 41 saves. The Red Wings continue on to L.A. and Anaheim after tonight.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Jason Demers. The defenseman had two assists in Nashville on Tuesday, and now is tied with Dan Boyle for the team lead in scoring from the blue line with 20 points (3g, 17a). Since he was scratched on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles, Demers has three goals and five assists for eight points in the last nine games.
Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg. Since returning from a back injury that kept him out for 11 straight games, the Red Wings’ star has three goals and three assists in four games. Zetterberg is nearly a point-per-game player in his career against the Sharks, with 17 goals and 19 assists for 36 points in 38 games.
Sharks: Tomas Hertl (right knee surgery), Marty Havlat (lower body), Raffi Torres (right knee surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery) and Logan Couture (right hand) and Matt Irwin (upper body) are out.
Red Wings: Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Johan Franzen (head), and Jonathan Ericsson (broken ribs) are out. Darren Helm (shoulder), Danny DeKeyser (lower body) and Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) are questionable.
The Red Wings are the only team to shut out the Sharks so far this season, but San Jose won anyway, 1-0 in a shootout at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 21. This is the second and final game between the Sharks and now Eastern Conference-dwelling Red Wings.
All time, the Sharks are 28-46-4-5 against Detroit, but have a 10-2-1 mark in the last 13 games.
"It sucks, and any guy who’s injured or not will tell you that. You feel like you can help the team and you want to help the team, and now I can tonight." - Tommy Wingels, on dealing with an upper body injury that had him out of the last five games
Which forward on the Sharks has to step up his game the most with so many injuries up front?
Leave your answer in the comments section below.