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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, October 21st (All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (7-0-1) at Detroit Red Wings (6-3-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Jose Sharks have used a home-heavy schedule to get off to another fast start this season.
The lone team left in the NHL without a regulation loss, the Sharks try to carry their hot play with them on the road Monday night when they kick off a road trip against the Detroit Red Wings.
Five of San Jose's first eight games this season came at SAP Center, including a perfect three-game homestand to begin the campaign. After winning six straight overall to start, the Sharks lost a 4-3 shootout decision in Dallas on Thursday prior to rebounding with a home win over Calgary Saturday.
Joe Pavelski had a career high-tying four points in the 6-3 victory, scoring a pair of power-play goals while assisting on two other tallies.
"Just a competitive guy that has real good hockey sense," San Jose head coach Todd McLellan said about Pavelski.
Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture had a goal and an assist each, while Antti Niemi needed to make just 16 saves to get the win.
San Jose has won all five of its home games this season and 11 in a row at the Shark Tank dating back to last season's playoffs. It won't play at home again this month with trips to Detroit, Boston, Montreal, Ottawa and Los Angeles on tap before a home game against Phoenix on Nov. 2.
Marleau will try to keep pacing the offense on this trip as he has a point in all eight of San Jose's games this season. He has also scored in five straight games, with seven goals and four assists on the season.
Detroit carried a four-game winning streak into Saturday's contest with Phoenix and got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi 8:07 into the contest. However, the next five goals went to the Coyotes in a 5-2 decision, including one by Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith with just 0.1 seconds left on the clock.
Jimmy Howard, who had missed the past three games with a bruised hand, yielded four goals on 32 shots faced.
"We had the lead and you have to find a way to grind out wins on the road when you're leading," said Howard.
The Red Wings have struggled to grind out home wins over the Sharks as well. San Jose has won five of its past six in Detroit and nine of the previous 12 meetings overall.
The Sharks went 2-0-1 versus the Red Wings last season.
Datsyuk has four goals and nine points over his last five games, while Henrik Zetterberg has posted four goals and eight points in his previous four.
Howard is 3-5-3 with a 2.87 goals against average in 11 career games versus the Sharks, while Niemi is 10-2-2 with a 1.81 GAA and a pair of shutouts in 14 versus the Red Wings.
10/21 10:26:30 ET