Sharks-Senators: In the Crease

Sharks-Senators: In the Crease
October 12, 2013, 9:45 am
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Milan Michalek scored 91 goals in five seasons with the Sharks; he has 80 entering his fifth season with the Senators. (USATSI)

INSIDE THE MATCHUP

- The Senators dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Kings at Staples Center on Wednesday night, and have now taken at least one point from each of their three tilts of the season (all one-goal games). Following this contest, Ottawa has two more road games before heading back to Canadian Tire Centre for its home-opener next Thursday.

- San Jose beat Vancouver, 4-1, on Thursday and has now started 4-0-0 for the second consecutive season (third time in franchise history). The Sharks have outscored opponents 21-5 in 2013-14 -- the best goal differential of any team in the league.

- The Sens beat the Sharks, 4-1, the last time the two clubs met on January 19, 2012, snapping a 5-game losing streak to San Jose in the process. The Sharks are 11-9-4-0 all-time against Ottawa (7-5-0-0 at home).

- Bobby Ryan had a goal and a helper vs. the Kings in Wednesday's setback, recording his first multi-point game as a Senator. Ryan has 25 career points (12g, 13a) vs. the Sharks -- his most against any opponent.

- Tomas Hertl was held without a point for the first time in four career games Thursday night. Hertl (6) and Patrick Marleau (3) have combined for nine markers in 2013-14 -- most of any pair of teammates in the league (entering Friday's games).

- Ottawa has netted just one power-play goal this season -- tied for fewest of any Eastern Conference club.

Programming note: Sharks-Senators coverage gets underway today at 6:30 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 4-0-0, 8 points, 1st Pacific Division, 1st Western Conference
Senators: 1-0-2, 4 points, 4th Atlantic Division, 8th Eastern Conference

Vitals

Sharks
Goals per game: 5.25 (1st)
Goals-against per game: 1.25 (2nd)
Power play: 22.2 percent (10th)
Penalty kill: 81.8 percent (14th)

Senators
Goals per game: 2.67 (T, 17th)
Goals-against per game: 2.67 (15th)
Power play: 12.5 percent (24th)
Penalty kill: 75.0 percent (24th)

Probable lines

Sharks
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Tyler Kennedy – Logan Couture – Patrick Marleau
Matt Nieto – Joe Pavelski – Tommy Wingels
James Sheppard – Andrew Desjardins – Matt Pelech

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Senators
Milan Michalek – Jason Spezza – Bobby Ryan
Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Cory Conacher
Colin Greening – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Erik Condra
Zack Smith – Stephane DaCosta – Chris Neil

Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen – Patrick Wiercioch
Chris Phillips – Eric Gryba

Robin Lehner
Craig Anderson

Last game

Sharks: The Sharks kept their record perfect with a 4-1 win in Vancouver on Thursday, their first road game of the season. Matt Pelech’s first career NHL goal was the game-winner, while Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns (empty net) also scored. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture had two assists each, and Antti Niemi made 25 saves.

Senators: Ottawa rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime, but lost 4-3 to the Kings in the extra session in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Bobby Ryan and Milan Michalek scored in the defeat, and Craig Anderson made 28 saves. The Senators are in the midst of a six-game road trip to open the season, with stops in Anaheim and Phoenix on the horizon.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Tyler Kennedy. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan was complimentary of his new winger after the win in Vancouver, as Kennedy set up Patrick Marleau for a key second period goal. Kennedy has two assists total and is still looking for his first goal, but has had career success against the Senators with 11 goals in 20 games, tied for the most against any opponent.

Senators: Erik Karlsson. One of the best defensemen in the NHL, and a former Norris Trophy winner, Karlsson missed most of the 2013 season with a left Achilles laceration. He’s played three career games against the Sharks, with a goal and an assist. He’s part of Ottawa’s top defense pair, as well as the power play quarterback.

Injuries

Sharks: Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), Marty Havlat (offseason pelvic surgery), Adam Burish (lower body), and Brad Stuart (suspension) are out.

Senators: None.

Season/All-Time series

The Sharks will visit Ottawa later this month, on Oct. 27, in what is the final game of a four-game trip for San Jose.

The teams last met on Jan. 19, 2012, a 4-1 Ottawa victory at SAP Center. That snapped a five-game Sharks winning streak against the Senators.

San Jose owns an 11-9-4-0 advantage all-time against Ottawa.

Quoteable

“We like what we see so far. It’s a long season, but we’ve got a lot of good things we can build off of.” -- Patrick Marleau

Burning question

What is your take on the Alex Edler suspension for hitting Tomas Hertl? Leave your answer in the comments section below.