Programming note – Sharks-Bruins coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 33-17-4, 70 points, 1st Pacific Division
Bruins: 26-23-6, 58 points, 4th Atlantic Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***The Sharks are 8-1-2 in their last 11, and 4-0-1 in their last five road games, but they enter tonight with back-to-back losses in a shootout and overtime, respectively. They started a four-game road trip in Buffalo on Tuesday, blowing a 4-1 third period lead to lose 5-4 on Evander Kane’s marker in extra time.
“They came back, but I thought we did a lot of good things,” Joel Ward said. “We let them come back. We’ve just got to hunker down, special teams, penalty killing – little details. If we get a chance to put the foot down, we’ve got to take advantage of it.”
The Sharks will make one lineup change, putting Ryan Carpenter back in on the fourth line, moving Micheal Haley to the wing and bumping rookie Marcus Sorensen.
Regarding Carpenter, who has been a healthy scratch for the last two games, Pete DeBoer said: “Energy, reliability, faceoffs, penalty kill – he’s been real good. Excited to get him back.”
DeBoer revealed that Joonas Donskoi, who has missed nine of the last 12 games with an upper body injury, would not be joining the team before the end of the road trip.
***Boston, 3-5-1 in its last nine games, will be playing its first game since firing longtime coach Claude Julien on Tuesday. Bruce Cassidy is the interim coach.
David Backes told CSNNE.com that the move was a “wakeup call.”
“It certainly hit me square in the forehead, and there are a lot of guys in here with the same kind of mentality,” Backes said. “We can’t change the past, but we can change the future, prepare better and play better. That’s our focus at the moment.”
The Sharks are preparing for a fired up Bruins team.
“What we’re expecting is a big push,” DeBoer said. “There’s always a big jump in energy when a new guy goes in, and that’s probably the biggest thing we’re preparing for.”
The Bruins canceled their morning skate due to a snowstorm in Boston, so its uncertain if defenseman Zdeno Chara will be in the lineup after he’s missed some practices due to illness.
***Brent Burns’ eight-game road goal scoring streak – the first in NHL history for a defenseman – came to an end on Tuesday in Buffalo. He did have two assists, though, stretching his road point-streak to 14 games.
Only two other defensemen have had longer such scoring streaks, according to Elias: Ray Bourque (16 games; Nov. 7, 1993 – Jan. 25, 1994) and Paul Coffey (15 games; March 6 – April 27, 1995).
“A lot of that stuff is just benefitting from playing with great players, and having chemistry with them, too,” Burns said.
Burns (57 points) is just three points behind Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby for the NHL scoring lead.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Ryan Carpenter. Despite the fourth line generating a goal in Buffalo, Carpenter will get a chance to return to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 2 at Vancouver. He has two goals and two assists for four points in 10 games this season, and seemed to be making a push to stay on the team for good when he was somewhat surprisingly scratched.
Bruins: David Pastrnak. The Bruins’ first round pick from 2014 (25th overall) is second on the team with 22 goals and 44 points, trailing only Brad Marchand (23 goals, 55 points). A Czech native and just 20 years old, Pastrnak has two goals and four assists in his last two games, and at least one point in five of his last six games.
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko
Martin Jones (starter)
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes
Matt Beleskey – David Krejci – David Pasternak
Frank Vatrano – Ryan Spooner – Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller – Dominic Moore – Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara – Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller – Colin Miller
Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) are out.
Bruins: Zdeno Chara (illness) is questionable. Austin Czarnik (lower body) is out.
“Welcome home.” – Joe Thornton jokingly to Martin Jones, who was traded to Boston briefly before getting dealt to the Sharks, at Thursday's morning skate