Ottawa at San Jose
When: 10:00 PM
ET, Saturday, February 28, 2015
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California
With a rookie goaltender starring as the most improbable savior, the Ottawa Senators have won four in a row and are making a surprising run at a postseason slot as they prepare to visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. Rookie Andrew Hammond is 4-0-0 since he was called up from the minors, including back-to-back shutouts of Anaheim and Los Angeles. "I'm not (Montreal's) Carey Price, and I still have a long ways to go," Hammond said. "I'm just trying to enjoy it and ride the wave."
The Sharks, meanwhile, are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03 due to a head-scratching inability to hold serve. San Jose is 0-for-February at home (0-5-2), losing all six games at the SAP Center as well as a narrow defeat in an outdoor game at Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium. The Sharks permitted a pair of goals in the final 6 1/2 minutes of regulation in a 3-2 loss to Detroit on Thursday to fall to 3-7-2 this month.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (26-23-10): The current five-game road trip was expected to serve as the knockout blow for Ottawa's dim playoff hopes, but Hammond continued his stellar play by blanking Pacific Division-leading Anaheim 3-0 on Wednesday and ending Los Angeles' eight-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory the following night. An undrafted free agent, Hammond became the first goaltender in league history to post shutouts at the Ducks and Kings on consecutive nights. "It's obviously pretty crazy what's going on right now," Hammond said.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (30-24-8): San Jose had a 14-4 first-period edge in shots Thursday but managed only eight the rest of the way while giving up 31 to remain winless at home since Jan. 31. "It's devastating. This time of the year, it's unacceptable," defenseman Matt Irwin said. "This is where we have to put points in the bank and set ourselves up for the stretch run. And to not get these points is extremely frustrating." The Sharks on 1-4-0 over their last five games and have scored two goals or fewer in each of the four losses.
1. San Jose hasn't lost eight straight at home since Feb. 18-March 26, 1995.
2. Hammond, nicknamed the "Hamburglar," is the first rookie to post shutouts on back-to-back days since Jim Carey in March 1995.
3. Sharks F Logan Couture was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Friday for slew-footing Detroit D Brendan Smith.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Senators 1
Stats and Records