Preview: Senators at Sharks
Defenseman Erik Karlsson has made himself at home with the San Jose Sharks, stringing together one goal and 24 assists over 14 consecutive appearances before being held in check in his last outing. The two-time Norris Trophy recipient will look to contribute on offense versus his former team as the Sharks vie for their season-best sixth straight win on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators at SAP Center in San Jose.
Karlsson was held off the scoresheet in Thursday's 3-2 victory versus Vegas for the first time since he returned to Canada's capital city in a 6-2 setback to the Senators on Dec. 1. The 28-year-old Swede spent his first nine NHL seasons in Ottawa and reportedly is expected to begin contract negotiations after the All-Star Game as he competes in the final campaign of a seven-year, $45.5 million deal. The Senators have seen a reversal of fortune take place since entering the Golden State, answering a season-high eight-game skid (0-7-1) by claiming back-to-back road wins for the first time in 2018-19. Chris Tierney, who was acquired in the blockbuster deal for Karlsson in September, had an assist in Wednesday's 2-1 overtime victory at Anaheim and scored twice in a 4-1 triumph in Los Angeles the following night.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CBC, Sportsnet1, TVAS, NBCS California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (17-23-5): Former Shark Mikkel Boedker set up his fifth goal in eight contests on Thursday and earned his 200th career assist on Tierney's first tally. The 29-year-old Dane scored a goal and set up three others in last month's victory over San Jose, with which he spent the previous two seasons. Fellow forward Bobby Ryan, who had a goal and an assist in that encounter, has scored three goals and set up four others during his six-game point streak.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (26-13-7): Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi scored 39 seconds apart in the third period on Thursday to help San Jose capture its 1,000th regular-season victory in franchise history. The 26-year-old Donskoi has eight goals in his last seven games to boost his season total to a career high-tying 14, which initially was set in 2017-18. Fellow forward Tomas Hertl has collected 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in his past 18 games while All-Star defenseman Brent Burns has 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his last eight.
1. Ottawa, which is without Matt Duchene after his wife gave birth recently, placed fellow C Colin White (shoulder) on injured reserve Friday after he was hit by Los Angeles D Jake Muzzin.
2. San Jose G Martin Jones has won each of his last six starts and yielded just five goals during his last three games.
3. Ottawa made a pair of trades on Friday, acquiring D Cody Goloubef from Boston's American Hockey League affiliate (Providence) in exchange for F Paul Carey while also adding Morgan Klimchuk from Toronto for fellow F Gabriel Gagne.
PREDICTION: Sharks 5, Senators 2