San Jose Sharks at Chicago Blackhawks (-135, 5.5)
Still in search of their first win this month, the San Jose Sharks will attempt to do something on Friday no team has been able to achieve thus far this season - defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation. San Jose ran the table in January, beginning the abbreviated campaign with seven straight victories. The club's fortunes have changed completely in February as the Sharks have gone 0-3-3, scoring more than two goals only once during the winless streak while being shut out twice.
San Jose, which is 0-1-1 on its six-game road trip, would like nothing better than to be the first team to prevent Chicago from earning at least one point. The Blackhawks started the season with a six-game winning streak before falling in a shootout to the Wild in Minnesota on Jan. 30. They have gone 4-0-2 since, including a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in the opener of their seven-game homestand. Chicago is four away from setting the NHL record for most games without a regulation loss to start a season - a mark currently owned by the 2006-07 Ducks, who opened the campaign 12-0-4.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CSN California (San Jose), CSN (Chicago)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (7-3-3): Matt Pelech's first stint with San Jose lasted just one game as the right wing was assigned to Worcester of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. Pelech, who appeared in five contests with the Calgary Flames during his only previous season in the NHL in 2008-09, had 11:23 of ice time while engaging in a fight against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday but was a healthy scratch for the 1-0 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators the following night. The Sharks are hoping to avenge a 5-3 home loss on Feb. 5 in which it squandered a pair of two-goal leads in the first period.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (10-0-3): Nearly everything is clicking for Chicago thus far this season. The one part of its game that needs work, however, is the power play. The Blackhawks rank 16th in the league at 18.2 percent after a 1-for-6 performance on Tuesday. They spent all but 1:20 of overtime with the man advantage but were unable to produce the winning goal. Patrick Kane had his five-game goal-scoring streak snapped against Anaheim but extended his point streak to seven contests with an assist. Kane, who is tied for second in the league in scoring with 20 points, has gotten his name on the scoresheet in all but one of Chicago's 13 games.
* Home team is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Under is 6-0 in Blackhawks’ last six home games.
* Under is 8-2 in Sharks’ last 10 overall.
* Blackhawks are 5-1 in their last six vs. Pacific foes.
1. San Jose returns to Chicago next Friday for the fifth game of its road trip.
2. The Blackhawks had played only twice at the United Center before hosting Anaheim on Tuesday.
3. The Sharks are 2-for-34 on the power play over their last eight contests.