Preview: Flames at Sharks
The San Jose Sharks reversed course from a recent tailspin by completing a sweep of their recent road trip through Alberta. The Sharks bid for their third win overall and as many against the Calgary Flames this season on Monday when the Pacific Division rivals meet in San Jose.
The Sharks improved to 9-2-0 in their last 11 games versus the Flames after skating to 3-1 victory in Calgary on Tuesday before posting a 6-3 triumph in Edmonton two nights later. Evander Kane, who leads the team with 21 goals, scored in both encounters and Joe Thornton set up a pair of goals in both tilts to become the seventh player of at least 40 years of age to record consecutive multi-assist road games. The Flames answered a three-game losing skid by opening a four-game road trip with an emphatic 6-2 victory versus Vancouver on Saturday. "This is the homestretch now. We're in a sprint to the finish line, so we have to be ready each and every road game, and now it's up to us to respond positively to this win and keep doing the things we were doing in this game," said Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk, who has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past six games.
TIME: 10:30 p.m. ET. TV: NBCS California, Sportsnet West
ABOUT THE FLAMES (28-22-6): Like Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm also has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games after setting up a goal on Saturday. The 25-year-old Lindholm has factored in on both tallies that Calgary has recorded in 3-1 setbacks to San Jose, scoring on Oct. 13 for one of his team-leading 22 goals before setting up Johnny Gaudreau's power-play marker last Tuesday. That goal for Gaudreau is his lone one in his last nine games, however he does have five of his club-best 30 assists in his last six.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (24-27-4): Captain Logan Couture, who has been sidelined since Jan. 7 with a fractured ankle, praised his team's compete-level during its recent trek through Alberta. "Into two buildings that are tough to play in, two teams that are fighting for their playoff lives," the 30-year-old Couture said of the Sharks' wins in Alberta, per the San Jose Mercury News. "We went in there and you take away the first five minutes of each game, and I thought we controlled both of those games pretty well. Positives, I think we're playing better defensively, tighter defensively. It's fun to see." Couture also tipped his hat to rookies Alexander True and Maxim Letunov, who provided enthusiasm to the team after each recorded their respective first NHL point on Thursday.
1. Calgary sports an 11-3-1 record in its last 15 road games.
2. San Jose F Patrick Marleau's availability in question for Monday's tilt as he works his way past an illness.
3. Flames C Sean Monahan had been held off the scoresheet in seven of his previous eight games before scoring a goal on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Sharks 4, Flames 2