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Slumping Sharks shake up the lines

Brad Winchester

San Jose Sharks’ Brad Winchester celebrates after scoring a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. The Sharks won 5-2. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)


Tonight is your night, Brad Winchester. According to, San Jose’s tough guy is likely to skate on the first line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski against Dallas at HP Pavilion. Meanwhile, struggling forward Patrick Marleau will be dropped to the third line with Michal Handzus and Jamie McGinn.

The Sharks have lost four of their last five, and with three of those losses coming at home, it’s no surprise coach Todd McLellan felt the need to shake it up.

“Patty, Jumbo and Pavs have been outscored by the other team’s lines the last three games in a row,” McLellan said. “That has to change.”

Jumbo, Pavs and, uh – Winchy? – could be a tough trio for the Stars to handle from a physical standpoint.

"[Winchester] has a way of burrowing himself right in the blue paint,” McLellan said. “Maybe that’s an ingredient that Pavs and Jumbo need right now.