Programming note: Blackhawks-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7pm on NBC Sports Network.
Where they stand
Sharks: 13-8-0, 26 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Blackhawks: 11-8-2, 24 points, 5th Central Division
Sharks: The Sharks became just the sixth team in NHL history to sweep a road trip of six games or more, beating the Blue Jackets on Sunday, 5-3. San Jose scored four unanswered goals after trailing 3-1 early in the third. The Sharks open a three-game homestand tonight that continues with Calgary on Saturday.
Blackhawks: Currently on their annual “circus trip,” the Blackhawks dropped a 6-3 decision to the Canucks in Vancouver on Saturday. They are 1-1-1 on the six-game stretch that concludes later this week with visits to Anaheim and Los Angeles.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Dainius Zubrus. The veteran winger will be making his Sharks debut after signing a one-year contract on Tuesday. He’ll slot in on the fourth line and could see time on the penalty kill, too. The Sharks coaching staff will hope that the addition of Zubrus helps them avoid shortening their bench late in close games.
Blackhawks: Patrick Kane. If you’re looking for a frontrunner for this year’s Hart Trophy, look no further than the Blackhawks electrifying forward. Kane brings a 16-game scoring streak into tonight’s game, with 10 goals and 16 assists over that span, and is tied for the NHL lead in scoring with 32 points.
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Matt Nieto – Tomas Hertl – Tommy Wingels
Dainius Zubrus – Chris Tierney – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brenden Dillon
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Mirco Mueller – Matt Tennyson
Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Artemi Panarin – Artem Anisimov – Patrick Kane
Andrew Shaw – Jonathan Toews – Ryan Garbutt
Andrew Desjardins – Marcus Kruger – Marian Hossa
Marko Dano – Tanner Kero – Brandon Mashinter
Duncan Keith – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Trevor van Riemsdyk – Brent Seabrook
Trevor Daley – Michal Rozsival
Corey Crawford (confirmed starter)
Goals per game: 2.76 (11th)
Goals-against per game: 2.43 (8th)
Power play: 13.6 percent (29th)
Penalty kill: 79.1 percent (20th)
Goals per game: 2.71 (13th)
Goals-against per game: 2.62 (15th)
Power play: 21.1 percent (7th)
Penalty kill: 78.9 percent (21st)
Sharks: Justin Braun (upper body), Ben Smith (head) and Logan Couture (fractured right fibula) are out.
Blackhawks: Teuvo Teravainen (upper body) is day-to-day.
This is Chicago’s only visit to SAP Center this season. The Sharks are in the Windy City on Dec. 20 and Feb. 9.
Odds and ends
*The Sharks are 3-5-0 at home, while Chicago is 3-6-1 on the road.
*Joe Pavelski is tied for fourth in the NHL with 12 goals.
*Brent Burns is second in the NHL with 94 shots, and has 13 points (6g, 7a) in the last 13 games.
*Martin Jones was named as the NHL’s First Star of the Week after posting a 3-0-0 record, 1.63 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.
*The Sharks will honor Jamie Baker before the game as part of the team’s season-long 25th anniversary celebration.