Programming note: Sharks-Blackhawks coverage gets underway today at 5 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 8-4-3, 19 points, 2nd Pacific Division, 6th Western Conference
Blackhawks: 13-0-3, 29 points, 1st Central Division, 1st Western Conference
Goals per game: 2.47 (22nd)
Goals-against per game: 2.13 (4th)
Power play: 18.9 percent (11th)
Penalty kill: 87.1 percent (5th)
Goals per game: 3.31 (2nd)
Goals-against per game: 1.94 (2nd)
Power play: 18.6 percent (12th)
Penalty kill: 87.9 percent (3rd)
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe – Logan Couture – Marty Havlat
Tim Kennedy – Michal Handzus – Tommy Wingels
TJ Galiardi – Adam Burish – Andrew Desjardins
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Dan Boyle
Brad Stuart – Brent Burns
Douglas Murray – Jason Demers
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp – Dave Bolland – Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell – Andrew Shaw – Viktor Stalberg
Brandon Bollig – Marcus Kruger – Michael Frolik
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy – Michal Roszival
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Joe Thornton. After several games in which he struggled, the Sharks’ captain had a strong game in St. Louis, and scored his first goal since Jan. 27. Thornton has just two points in his last nine games, which is a big reason the Sharks have had such trouble on the scoreboard lately. He’s still the leader on an offense that has scored two or fewer goals in regulation in nine of the last 10 games.
Blackhawks: Patrick Sharp. The Blackhawks winger has two goals in his last two games, and 14 points on the season (4g, 10a). Sharp had a season and game-high seven shots on goal in Chicago’s win over Vancouver on Tuesday. On a team with so many big names, Sharp has a tendency to fly under the radar.
Sharks: Tim Kennedy scored the game-winning, tiebreaking goal in the third period, as the Sharks snapped their seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 win in St. Louis. Joe Thornton also scored, and Antti Niemi picked up his seventh win in net with 25 saves. The Sharks had been 0-4-3 before the win, and picked up their first victory in regulation since Jan. 27 (2-4-3).
Blackhawks: Chicago tied an NHL record by recording at least a point in its 16th straight game to open a season, with a 4-3 shootout win against Vancouver. Marian Hossa had two goals before he left after colliding with Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen, and Patrick Sharp had the other goal in regulation. Ray Emery improved to 6-0-0 with 29 saves.
Sharks: James Sheppard (lower body) is out.
Blackhawks: Marian Hossa (head) and Corey Crawford (upper body) are questionable. Daniel Carcillo (lower body) and Steve Montador (concussion) are out.
This is the third and final meeting between the two teams. The Blackhawks have won the first two, Feb. 5 at HP Pavilion, 5-3; and last Friday here in Chicago, 4-1.
“The big thing is just getting two points up here and helping out any way you can. It’s always nice to score goals and get points and help the team win, but as long as we get the two points, that’s all that matters.” – Tim Kennedy, who has two goals in his last two games, after the 2-1 win in St. Louis