WASHINGTON, DC Simply put, the San Jose Sharks have owned the Washington Capitals for the last 12 years.The Sharks have won 16 of the last 17 matchups between the two clubs, including both games this season in decisive fashion. San Jose claimed a home win over Washington on Jan. 7, and followed that up with a 5-3 win on Monday night at Verizon Center behind four points from Joe Pavelski.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Sharks .941 points percentage against the Capitals is the highest by one NHL team against another since the start of the 1999-2000 season. The only loss came on Oct. 15, 2009 at Washington.
RELATED: Sharks-Caps box score
Todd McLellans team has now won its last five games against the Caps, but the coach wasnt aware of that run of success that obviously predates his time as San Joses head coach.There arent many secrets in the game, with video and the pre-scout. We seem to be able to get the lead on them, which I think is a real big thing, McLellan said after Mondays game. Special teams have been important the last few times that weve played them. Thats probably been the difference. Other than that, there isnt a magic wand or any secret formula to beating them, for us, anyhow.The Capitals are one of three Eastern Conference teams to appear twice on the Sharks schedule this season. Boston and Tampa Bay, which the Sharks visit on Thursday, are the others.Another big night for Thornton
Sharks captain Joe Thornton remained hot on Tuesday, racking up three more assists. In his last six games, Thornton has two goals and eight assists for 10 points.RELATED: Joe Thornton game logs
Monday was the 49th time in Thorntons career hes had three or more assists in a game, the second-highest total among active players, according to Elias. Philadelphias Jaromir Jagr has done it 56 times.San Joses leading scorer with 50 points, Thorntons recent hot streak has him climbing up the league leader charts, too. He's now tied for fifth with 38 assists and is tied with four other players for 20th in the NHL in scoring.
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.
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.