Sharks-Blackhawks at a glance

Sharks-Blackhawks at a glance
February 5, 2013, 12:30 pm

Antti Niemi has a 5-2-1 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and .920 save percentage this season. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note
Sharks-Blackhawks coverage gets underway today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California

Where they stand
Sharks: 7-1-1, 15 pts.,1st Pacific Division, 2nd Western Conference
Blackhawks: 7-0-2, 16 pts., 1st Central Division, 1st Western Conference

Vitals
Sharks
Goals per game: 3.22 (6th)
Goals-against per game: 1.67 (T – 1st)
Power play: 26.0 percent (5th)
Penalty kill: 87.8 percent (6th)

Blackhawks
Goals per game: 3.00 (8th)
Goals-against per game: 2.00 (3rd)
Power play: 20.6 percent (14th)
Penalty kill: 94.4 percent (1st)

Probable lines

Sharks
Marleau – Thornton – Pavelski
Sheppard – Couture – Clowe
Wingels – Handzus – Havlat
Desjardins – Gomez – Burish

Vlasic – Stuart
Irwin – Demers
Murray – Braun

Niemi
Greiss

Blackhawks
Saad – Toews – Hossa
Sharp – Bolland – Kane
Bickell – Shaw – Stalberg
Bollig – Kruger – Frolik

Keith – Seabrook
Brookbank – Leddy
Oduya – Hjalmarsson

Crawford
Emery

Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Antti Niemi. The Sharks’ goaltender has played very well against his former team in his career, posting a 5-2-1 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Niemi, who had the night off last night in Anaheim, is tied for the league lead in wins (6), and is sixth in GAA (1.80) and save percentage (.936).

Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews. The Blackhawks’ captain has 17 points in 17 career games against the Sharks (9g, 8a), and after seven points in his first seven games this season, he’s scoreless in his last two. He’ll be trying to get back on the scoresheet tonight.

Last game
Sharks: Logan Couture scored in the first period, but that was all the Sharks would manage against Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth in a 2-1 loss, their first in regulation. Thomas Greiss made 30 saves in his second start of the season in a losing effort. The Sharks were 0-for-6 on the power play, but have now killed 27 straight penalties.

Blackhawks: Chicago kept its unbeaten-in-regulation streak alive with a 3-2 shootout win over Calgary on Saturday. Goaltender Ray Emery was the star, stopping 45 Flames shots. Patrick Kane led the offense with a goal and an assist, and Marian Hossa also scored.

Injuries
Sharks: Brent Burns (lower body) is on injured reserve. Dan Boyle (flu) is questionable after skating in the morning.

Blackhawks: Dave Bolland (right leg) is probable. Michal Rozsival (lower body) is questionable. Daniel Carcillo (lower body) is out, as is Steve Montador (concussion).

Season series
The Sharks make two visits to Chicago this month – Feb. 15 and Feb. 22. This is Chicago's only visit to HP Pavilion.

Quoteable
“Missing ‘Boyler’ really hurts. You don’t realize how much you miss him until he’s not there. Hopefully, we can get him back for tomorrow.” – Logan Couture, after Monday’s 2-1 loss in Anaheim