Detroit at San Jose
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Thursday, February 26, 2015
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California
The San Jose Sharks posted the best home record in the Western Conference in 2013-14, but they have been unable to duplicate that success this season and are sitting just outside the playoff picture. San Jose carries a middling 14-12-5 record at SAP Center into Thursday's matchup against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The Sharks are winless at home since Jan. 31 and are coming off a 2-1 outdoor loss to Los Angeles before 70,000-plus fans at Levi's Stadium.
The Red Wings are trying to avoid going 0-for-California after absorbing a pair of one-goal defeats at Anaheim and Los Angeles to fall to 2-1-1 on their six-game road trip that ends at NHL-leading Nashville on Saturday. Detroit was blanked for the second time in five games in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to the Kings on Tuesday to fall six points behind first-place Montreal in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings have scored only three goals in dropping four in a row to San Jose.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (33-15-11): Detroit could be without leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg for a third straight game, as the captain is still experiencing symptoms after getting punched in the head by Dallas' Jamie Benn on Saturday. The Red Wings' top-ranked power play felt the absence of Zetterberg against the Kings, failing on all five chances with the man advantage while mustering a total of only nine shots. Defenseman Kyle Quincey (foot), who has sat out the last three games, has received clearance to resume practicing.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (30-23-8): San Jose has dropped eight of its last 11 (3-6-2) and is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03, so it must capitalize on an upcoming stretch with seven of the next eight at home. The Sharks have not been getting much production from their special teams, allowing a power-play goal in seven of their last 10 games while scoring on only 4-of-26 chances with the man advantage during that span. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, the team's top two scorers, each have nine points in the last nine games.
1. Sharks G Antti Niemi is 12-2-2 with a 1.64 goals-against average and three shutouts versus Detroit.
2. Red Wings G Jimmy Howard is 3-6-4 with a 2.79 GAA versus the Sharks.
3. Sharks F Joe Thornton needs one assist to snap a tie with Dale Hawerchuk (891) for 20th place on the all-time list.
PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Red Wings 2
Stats and Records