NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, December 6th
(All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (19-4-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (12-12-5), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks will try to put a blowout loss in
Pittsburgh behind them when they continue a four-game road trip with Friday's
battle against the Carolina Hurricanes.
San Jose had tied a season high with six straight wins before getting slammed
5-1 by the Penguins on Thursday. Along with a 4-2 loss against Vancouver on
Nov. 7 and another 5-1 setback versus Chicago on Nov. 17, it marked the third
time the Sharks lost by a margin of more than one goal this season.
The Penguins scored four times in the second period to take control of
Thursday's game. Chris Kunitz scored twice and Sidney Crosby recorded three
assists in the rout.
"One man does not make a team, and that is a team over there," Sharks head
coach Todd McLellan said. "They've been able to recover from injury losses in
the past and, in fact, some nights they even play better. Their team pulls
Tomas Hertl provided the lone score for the Sharks, while Joe Thornton
extended his point streak to seven games with an assist.
Antti Niemi lasted two periods in net for the Sharks, allowing four goals on
27 shots. Alex Stalock stopped two of the three shots he faced in the third.
The Sharks fell to 9-3-3 on the road this season with the loss. San Jose will
cap its road trip Sunday in Minnesota.
Despite the setback, the Sharks are still leading the Pacific Division with 43
points, two more than Anaheim, which plays Friday evening in Chicago. San Jose
is also one point behind the Blackhawks for the Western Conference and overall
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, will try for a third straight victory after taking
both games on a recent two-game swing. Carolina notched a 4-1 win at
Washington on Tuesday before using Jeff Skinner's first career hat trick to
down the Nashville Predators by a 5-2 score on Thursday.
Skinner scored his first two goals in the second period and got the third on
an empty net, giving him nine goals for the season.
The Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals to end the game, including three
in under 13 minutes in the second period after the Predators had taken a 2-1
lead with two goals in the first 2:41 of the frame.
"The puck was bouncing," said Skinner. "It was a weird game. There wasn't much
Justin Faulk and Riley Nash also scored for the Hurricanes, who haven't won
three in a row since a four-game run from Feb. 28-March 5 of last season.
Justin Peters made 20 saves to earn the win, but Cam Ward expects to get the
call on Friday. Ward is 2-1-0 with a lofty 3.67 goals against average in three
career outings against the Sharks.
The Hurricanes are battling a rash of injuries at the moment. Defensemen Mike
Komisarek and Drayson Bowman are questionable for tonight with lower-body
injuries, while forward Patrick Dwyer could also sit out Friday with an upper-
Carolina winger Alexander Semin also is nearing a return from a concussion,
but he will miss a 10th straight game on Friday.
The Hurricanes are just 6-6-4 as the host this season and have lost their last
two games at PNC Arena.
San Jose has lost four of five and five of the last seven games in the series
against Carolina. The Sharks also have struggled in Raleigh over the years,
dropping four of their last five road games versus Carolina.
12/06 10:48:02 ET