Sharks march into Montreal, look to bounce back
Freddie Hamilton will fill in for Brent Burns on the Joe Thornton line. He had four SOG against Boston on Thursday. (USATSI)
Sharks-Canadiens coverage gets underway today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 8-1-1, 17 points, 1st Pacific Division, 2nd Western Conference
Canadiens: 6-4-0, 12 points, 5th Atlantic Division, 6th Eastern Conference
Goals per game: 4.00 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 1.70 (3rd)
Power play: 22.9 percent (8th)
Penalty kill: 86.7 percent (4th)
Goals per game: 3.30 (T – 4th)
Goals-against per game: 2.00 (5th)
Power play: 25.6 percent (6th)
Penalty kill: 82.9 percent (13th)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Freddie Hamiton
Patrick Marleau– Logan Couture – Tyler Kennedy
Matt Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
John McCarthy – Andrew Desjardins – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Brad Stuart
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Alex Galchenyuk – Lars Eller – Brendan Gallagher
Michael Bournival – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Travis Moen – David Desharnais – Rene Bourque
Mike Blunden – Ryan White – Patrick Holland
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Josh Gorges – Raphael Diaz
Francis Bouilon – Nathan Beaulieu
Sharks: David Krejci’s goal in the final second of the third period gave the Sharks their first regulation defeat, 2-1, in Boston on Thursday. Patrick Marleau’s team-leading eighth goal tied the game early in the third, but the Sharks were unable to gain a point in the standings despite a 39-17 shot advantage. Antti Niemi took the loss.
Canadiens: Tomas Plekanec had a goal and two assists as the Canadiens downed Anaheim at home on Thursday, 4-1. Brian Gionta and Michael Bournival each had a goal and an assist, and Carey Price made 31 saves.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Freddie Hamilton. The current replacement for Brent Burns on the Joe Thornton line, Hamilton skated well and generated some offensive chances in Thursday’s loss in Boston, his second career NHL game. He had four shots on goal, including an attempt that handcuffed Tuukka Rask in the first period, in more than 15 minutes of ice time.
Canadiens: Brendan Gallagher. The 21-year-old plays on the wing of a speedy line with Lars Eller and fellow youngster Alex Galchenyuk, and is tied for the team lead in goals with five. A fifth round pick in 2010, Gallagher has 35 points (20g, 15a) and +14 rating in 54 career games.
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), Marty Havlat (pelvic surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery), Brent Burns (face) and Dan Boyle (head into boards) are out. Tommy Wingels (undisclosed) is questionable.
Canadiens: Alexei Emelin (right knee), Davis Drewiske (shoulder), Douglas Murray (upper body), George Parros (concussion), Max Pacioretty (left hamstring), Brandon Prust (upper body) and Danny Briere (concussion) are out.
The Sharks are 10-13-4-1 all-time against the Canadiens, and Montreal holds a 10-2-2-0 advantage at home.
The Canadiens visit the SAP Center on March 8.
"We played the game we wanted to play, we liked a lot of the things that we did. We could have had a little more polish around the net, but it’s still a loss and that’s unacceptable – especially in the situation we were in." – Todd McLellan, after Thursday’s last-second loss in Boston
Who do the Sharks miss more, Brent Burns or Dan Boyle, and why? Leave your answer in the comments section below.