In the Crease: Jets visit Sharks for first time since '95

In the Crease: Jets visit Sharks for first time since '95
January 23, 2014, 9:30 am
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Joe Pavelski scored two goals, including the eventual game-winner, in the Sharks' 3-2 win over the Flames on Monday. (USATSI)

Programming note 
Sharks-Jets coverage gets underway at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California

[RELATED: Sharks mailbag: Return of Ray Whitney?]

Where they stand
Sharks: 32-12-6, 70 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 4th Western Conference
Jets: 23-23-5, 51 points, 7th Central Division, 12th Western Conference


Goals per game: 3.06 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 2.36 (5th)
Power play: 19.4 percent (11th)
Penalty kill: 82.8 percent (12th)

Goals per game: 2.72 (13th)
Goals-against per game: 2.90 (21st)
Power play: 14.4 percent (26th)
Penalty kill: 83.0 percent (10th)

Probable lines

Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Matt Nieto – Patrick Marleau – Tommy Wingels
Bracken Kearns – Andrew Desjardins – Tyler Kennedy
Eriah Hayes – John McCarthy – Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Jason Demers
Brad Stuart – Justin Braun
Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle

Alex Stalock (confirmed starter)
Antti Niemi

Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Michael Frolik
Evander Kane – Mark Schiefele – Blake Wheeler
Devin Setoguchi – Olli Jokinen – Dustin Byfugien
Chris Thorburn – James Wright – Anthony Peluso

Zach Bogosian – Tobias Enstrom
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Adam Pardy – Keaton Ellerby

Ondrej Pavalec
Al Montoya

The latest

Sharks: Joe Pavelski scored twice, including the game-winner on the power play in the second period, as the Sharks beat Calgary on Monday at SAP Center, 3-2. The win was San Jose’s fourth straight. Tommy Wingels also scored for the Sharks, and Antti Niemi made 21 saves. The Sharks have nine games remaining before the Olympic break, seven of which are at home, where they are 17-2-3.

Jets: Winnipeg also brings a four-game winning streak into tonight’s game, after giving the Anaheim Ducks their first regulation loss of the season at home on Tuesday, 3-2. Blake Wheeler, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane (shorthanded) scored for the Jets. Goalie Ondrej Pavalec has won all four games, surrendering two goals or less in each.

Keep an eye on…

Sharks: Joe Pavelski. The obvious choice, with six goals in his last three games. Pavelski is on pace for 44 goals, and since Dec. 21, no one in the NHL has more than the Wisconsin native’s 14 goals. The 29-year-old is tied for second in the NHL with 27 goals, and tied for ninth in league scoring with 50 points.

Jets: Bryan Little. The Jets’ top-line center brings a five-game point streak into the game, with two goals and six assists over that span. Little, who had two assists in the Jets’ win over the Sharks on Nov. 10, is Winnipeg’s leading scorer with 42 points in 51 games.


Sharks: Tomas Hertl (right knee surgery), Raffi Torres (right knee surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery), Scott Hannan (head) and Logan Couture (right hand) are out.

Jets: Jim Slater (sports hernia), Paul Postma (blood clot), Matt Halischuk (right arm) and Grant Clitsome (back) are out.

Season/All-Time series

This is the first time the Winnipeg Jets will be in San Jose since Dec. 7, 1995. The franchise last visited on Oct. 16, 2010, when the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Sharks, 4-2.

The Sharks are 10-1-2 with two ties against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise all-time.

San Jose is 12-1-1 this season against teams from Canada, including a 5-4 shootout loss to the Jets at MTS Centre on Nov. 10 in the only other meeting.


“I wish we all knew because we’d all try to follow that same recipe for success. It’s fun to watch. They go in a whole different variety of ways, as you saw tonight.” – Tommy Wingels, when asked how Joe Pavelski is scoring so much lately, after Monday’s 3-2 win over Calgary

Burning question

What should the Sharks try to add, if anything, in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline? Leave your answer in the comments section below.