It's Canucks, Blues or 'Hawks in first round

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It's Canucks, Blues or 'Hawks in first round

Its down to three possibilities for the Sharks in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

San Jose will either travel to Vancouver or St. Louis for Games 1 and 2 of the first round, or it will host Chicago when the postseason gets underway next week. Chicago, by virtue of its win over Detroit on Saturday afternoon, is now locked into the sixth seed.

The Sharks would capture the third seed with a win over Los Angeles tonight coupled with a Coyotes regulation loss in Minnesota.

The Sharks had the most success against the Blackhawks among the three possibilities. They finished 2-1-1 against Chicago in the regular season, winning both games at home. Their two losses in the Windy City were by a single goal each, and both were in the second of back-to-back games for San Jose.

Against Vancouver, whom the Sharks have not seen since Jan. 21, the Sharks gained three of a possible eight points. San Jose was 0-1-1 at home against the Canucks, and 1-1 in Vancouver, with the lone win coming via the shootout.

The Blues may be the team San Jose wants to avoid. The Sharks were a miserable 0-4 against them, and were outscored 11-3 in the process. San Jose failed to score a single goal in its two trips to St. Louis.

Below is the game-by-game breakdown against the three potential playoff opponents.

Sharks vs. Blackhawks
Nov. 23 vs. Chicago: Won 1-0
Dec. 11 @ Chicago: Lost 3-2 (OT)
Jan. 15 @ Chicago: Lost 4-3
Feb. 10 vs. Chicago: Won 5-3

Sharks vs. Canucks
Nov. 26 vs. Vancouver: Lost 3-2
Dec. 28 vs. Vancouver: Lost 3-2 (OT)
Jan. 2 @ Vancouver: Won 3-2 (SO)
Jan. 21 @ Vancouver: Lost 4-3

Sharks vs. Blues
Oct. 15 vs. St. Louis: Lost 4-2
Dec. 10 @ St. Louis: Lost 1-0
Feb. 12 @ St. Louis: Lost 3-0
March 3 vs. St. Louis: Lost 3-1

Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

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Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

VANCOUVER – Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow and Tim Heed have accompanied the Sharks to Vancouver, and will presumably be available to play against the Canucks on Saturday in the first game after the bye week.

Forwards Timo Meier, Nikolay Goldobin and Marcus Sorensen, all of whom have played games with the NHL club this season, remain with the AHL Barracuda for the time being.

Labanc, 21, has 18 points (7g, 11a) in 45 games this season. Lately he has been skating as the left wing on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and is looking to snap a 21-game goal drought.

Goodrow, 23, has played one game with the Sharks this season, going scoreless on Jan. 24 at Winnipeg. Unless the Sharks recall someone else before their game with the Canucks, Goodrow will likely play his second game as the team is carrying just 12 healthy forwards as of Friday afternoon. Joonas Donskoi did not accompany the Sharks to Vancouver, and remains day-to-day with what the club is offically calling an upper body injury but appears to be a right shoulder.

Heed, likely the seventh defenseman in case of emergency, has also played one scoreless game on Jan. 11 at Calgary.

Dylan DeMelo made the trip, but is still not ready. The defenseman told CSN last week that he’s on schedule with an eight-week recovery from a broken right wrist that would put his return around early March.

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Canucks battling mumps ahead of meeting with Sharks

Several Vancouver Canucks are battling an outbreak of the mumps ahead of a game on Saturday with the Sharks at Rogers Arena.

At least five players are expected to miss the game. Troy Stecher is the only player with a confirmed test result, general manager Jim Benning said in a statement, but Chris Tanev, Nikita Tryamkin, Mike Chaput and Markus Granlund “have each presented symptoms.”

Players with symptoms are “immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative.”

Vancouver Coastal Health authorities were on hand at Rogers Arena on Friday to screen players and staff, and issue immunizations if necessary.

The Sharks and Canucks will both be coming off of their bye week when they play for the second of five times this season.