San Jose at Tampa Bay
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 19, 2019
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
The San Jose Sharks look to rebound from their first loss in eight contests when they continue their pre-All Star Game road trip by going for a season sweep of the league-best Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. The Sharks produced one of their best efforts of the season to beat the Lightning 5-2 on Jan. 5 near the beginning of a seven-game winning streak that ended Wednesday with a 6-3 loss at Arizona.
“We just weren’t good enough, and it’s tough because we were on such a nice run,” San Jose center Logan Couture told reporters after Wednesday’s setback. “You never want to go crazy when you lose, but you’re disappointed, especially when it’s a (Pacific) Division game and a game in our mind that’s winnable.” The Sharks will try to find the recipe that led to holding Tampa Bay, which leads the league in scoring (3.96 per game), to 20 shots in the previous meeting while taking the puck away 12 times. The Lightning, who won’t play again until Jan. 30, are also coming off a rare loss as they fell against Toronto 4-2 on Thursday to end a nine-game winning streak at home, and will look to avoid their first set of back-to-back losses since Nov. 10 and 13. “It’s not always about the result, it’s about the performance of the group and I think (Thursday) was as good as we’ve been playing the last five or six games,” Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman told reporters. “. … A couple breakdowns cost us, so we’ll learn from that and change that for our last game before the break.”TV:
7 p.m. ET, NBCS California (San Jose), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)ABOUT THE SHARKS (28-14-7):
Martin Jones has turned around his season between the pipes with eight straight wins, including a 17-save effort against Tampa Bay, and owns a .939 save percentage in the past five outings. Defenseman Brent Burns has been held off the scoresheet the past two games, but leads the team with 52 points while Couture scored Wednesday to tie blue liner Erik Karlsson for second at 43. Forward Tomas Hertl has been the warmest Shark with five of his 19 goals and three assists in the last six contests to push his total to 41 points overall.ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (36-10-2):
Captain Steven Stamkos has picked up where he left off after a 21-point December by recording another 11 in the first eight contests of 2019, including a goal and six assists during his current five-game point streak. Right wing Nikita Kucherov posted an assist Thursday to improve his league-leading total to 76 points while linemate Brayden Point scored his team-best 30th goal and set up another in the loss to Toronto. Fourth-leading scorer Tyler Johnson (18 goals, 34 points) suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s game and is likely out Saturday.OVERTIME
1. San Jose F Timo Meier boasts 18 goals, but has gone 16 games without one while accumulating eight assists in that stretch.
2. Hedman, one of three former Norris Trophy winners slated to be on the ice Saturday with Karlsson and Burns, has 12 points in his last 12 contests.
3. The Sharks have won four of the last five games at Tampa Bay, but lost last season’s battle in the Sunshine State 5-2.PREDICTION:
Lightning 4, Sharks 3
Stats and Records