Sharks

NHL Gameday: Sharks' Boedker appears to be in; McDavid slumping

NHL Gameday: Sharks' Boedker appears to be in; McDavid slumping

Programming note – Sharks-Oilers coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on NBC Sports California

SERIES SCHEDULE

The best-of-seven series is tied, two games apiece.

Game 1: Sharks 3, Oilers 2 (OT)
Game 2: Oilers 2, Sharks 0
Game 3: Oilers 1, Sharks 0
Game 4: Sharks 7, Oilers 0
Game 5: Thursday, April 20, Sharks @ Oilers (7:30 p.m.)
Game 6: Saturday, April 22, Oilers @ Sharks (7:30 p.m.)
*Game 7: Monday, April 24, Sharks @ Oilers (TBD)

* - if necessary

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks will apparently make one lineup change, as Mikkel Boedker will replace Joonas Donskoi, who remained on the practice ice late with the other scratches. Boedker has sat out the previous two games, and is scoreless with a minus-one rating. Donskoi has one assist and a minus-three rating in four games.

***After they were shut out in games two and three, the Sharks’ offense came alive in a 7-0 beat down of the Oilers in Game 4 at SAP Center. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture had two goals apiece, and the Sharks went 4-for-8 on the power play. It was the most lopsided Sharks playoff win in franchise history.

The Sharks scored seven goals in a playoff win for the third time in playoff history. They’ve lost the two previous series in which that’s occurred – 1999 vs. Colorado, and 2014 vs. Los Angeles.

***Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl earned a fine but escaped suspension for his spearing of Chris Tierney, and will be back in the lineup tonight on Connor McDavid’s wing. The league’s eighth-leading scorer in the regular season has no points through four games.

***McDavid still has yet to break through in the series, with just one shorthanded goal and a secondary assist on the power play. Held off the scoresheet in games three and four, he has never gone three straight games in his NHL career without a point.

***April 20 marks the two-year anniversary that the Sharks fired head coach Todd McLellan and assistants Jay Woodcroft and Jim Johnson. All are now with the Oilers.

***Martin Jones’ shutout in Game 4 was his first since the 2016 playoffs, when he had three during the Sharks’ lengthy run. 

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Mikkel Boedker. Assuming he draws back in, Boedker will be trying to make an impact after he was a healthy scratch in games three and four. The 26-year-old was a healthy scratch once in the regular season on Jan. 5, and responded with four goals in his next two games - including a hat trick in Edmonton on Jan. 10. There were no hints as to which line he would play on, but skating with Logan Couture and Jannik Hansen is probably the likliest place.

Oilers: Patrick Maroon. While McDavid’s struggles have been in the spotlight, his linemate, Maroon, has done even less. The winger is scoreless in four games with a minus-two rating, has taken some bad penalties, and will apparently be skating on the third line tonight.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Jannik Hansen
Melker Karlsson – Tomas Hertl – Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Oilers
Drake Caggiula – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Patrick Maroon – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning

Cam Talbot (starter)
Laurent Brossoit

INJURIES

Sharks: None.

Oilers: Tyler Pitlick (torn ACL) is out.

SHARKS PLAYOFF RECORD WHEN…

The Sharks are 6-9 all-time when a series is tied at two games apiece. They are 9-3 all-time when leading a series three games to two, and 1-10 all-time when trailing three-games-to-two.

The Sharks have an all-time Game 5 record of 16-16, including 6-11 on the road.

QUOTEABLE

“Their big boys stepped and had a game. It’s up to us, especially our key guys, to step up and have a game for our hockey club. I don’t think we’ve stepped up yet in this series. We get an opportunity to do that in Game 5 at home.” - Milan Lucic

Sharks vs. Predators watch guide: Projected lines and defensive pairs

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USATSI

Sharks vs. Predators watch guide: Projected lines and defensive pairs

SAN JOSE – The San Jose Sharks are looking to stay hot at home as they host the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators on Tuesday evening.

Team Teal, coming off a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday, rallied to beat the Preds in Nashville on October 23, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period en route to a 5-4 victory. Brent Burns led the charge with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) including the game-winning power play goal. 

The Predators visit San Jose on the tail end of a back-to-back, having dropped a Monday night decision 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout. It was Nashville’s first road loss of the season, which also snapped a five-game winning streak. They will also face San Jose without injured forward Viktor Arvidsson, who notched two of the Predators four goals when these two teams previously met up.

San Jose is 35-28-2-6 in 71 franchise games against Nashville.

Sharks projected lines and pairs:

Evander Kane – Joe Pavelski – Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl – Logan Couture – Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen – Joe Thornton – Kevin Labanc
Barclay Goodrow – Rourke Chartier – Melker Karlsson

Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Erik Karlsson

Martin Jones – projected starter
Aaron Dell

Predators projected lines and pairs:

Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Colton Sissons
Kevin Fiala – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki – Nick Bonino – Ryan Hartman
Anthony Bitetto – Frederick Gaudreau – Zac Rinaldo

Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm – P.K. Subban
Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber

Juuse Saros – projected starter
Pekka Rinne

Sharks know Predators will present big test in meeting of West's best

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USATSI

Sharks know Predators will present big test in meeting of West's best

SAN JOSE -- The last time the Sharks faced the Predators, they rallied from a two-goal second-period deficit to win. Behind an offensive push kick-started by defenseman Brenden Dillon’s short-handed goal, Team Teal posted three unanswered tallies to defeat Nashville 5-4 last month.

That forward-to-back effort is something for which the Predators themselves are known. Beating them at their own game will be a must for the Sharks as they host the Western Conference-leading Preds on Tuesday night at SAP Center.

“They’re one of the best teams in the league for a reason,” Dillon said after Tuesday’s morning skate. “They’re a team that’s tough from top to bottom. Really deep up front. They’re kind of like us where they like to create offense from the back end.”

Logan Couture agreed.

“They play a similar style to us," said the forward, whose playing status will be a game-time decision because of a lower body injury. "They’ve got some skill up front, and their D-men are active and skilled.”

There’s no denying the Sharks and Predators play similarly. Heck, San Jose’s acquisition of Erik Karlsson has been compared to Nashville’s 2016 acquisition of P.K. Subban since the start of the season. But while the Sharks got away from playing an all-around defensive game during last week’s road back-to-back, the Predators have excelled and jumped out to a 8-0-1 road record.

Nashville's Ryan Johansen-led top line is physical and difficult to contain, its Roman Josi-led blue line knows how to find the back of the net, and starting netminder Pekka Rinne leads the NHL with a 1.47 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage.

Getting an early jump on the Preds, who will be playing on the tail end of a back-to-back Tuesday, will be key to the Sharks defeating them a second time, Dillon pointed out.

“It’s a big test,” he said. “When we were going into Nashville, we noted that was a big game for us, and I’m sure they’re looking to return the favor.”

The Sharks enter this matchup with more confidence, however, after their Sunday win over the Calgary Flames. From getting a more physical game out of both the forwards and the blue line, to Martin Jones have a solid night between the pipes, San Jose’s depth was on display. Having that team-wide defensive effort is exactly what's needed as the Sharks continue their homestand against the best in the West.

“This is a big homestand for us that we want to put emphasis on,” Dillon said. “For us, from top to bottom, if we can keep this train rolling, we can create more confidence for ourselves.”