In the Crease: Sharks remain intact at trade deadline
Sidney Crosby tallied three assists against the Sharks in a 5-1 Penguins win in Pittsburgh on December 5, 2013. (USATSI)
Sidney Crosby was all of 10 years old the last time the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks in the Bay Area.
Since that last win on Oct. 22, 1997, the Penguins are 0-8-2 at SAP Center. They’ll try and end that on Thursday night, as the Sharks continue their four-game homestand as well as a run of 12 straight against Eastern Conference opponents.
The Penguins, who practiced at The Tank on Wednesday, will be playing in their third game of a five-game road trip.
“They’re a good team and they play well here,” said Crosby, who has four assists but no goals in five career games against the Sharks. “They come out hard, so I feel like the start has always been an important factor in those games that have been close, or not so close. … Like any place on the road, you want to establish your game as fast as you can. That’s especially important here.”
Crosby leads the league in assists with 54, three more than Joe Thornton. He’s likely to win the scoring title, too, as his 83 points are well ahead of Phil Kessel’s 69. He hasn't skated against the Sharks in San Jose since Nov. 7, 2009.
The Sharks will be trying to avenge a decisive 5-1 defeat in Pittsburgh on Dec. 5. San Jose outshot the Penguins for the game, 45-30, but were never really in it from the start of the second period on despite Evgeni Malkin being a late scratch due to injury.
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The Penguins (41-16-4, 86 points) are 6-3-1 in their last 10 road games, and continue their trip on Friday in Anaheim.